American Robin American Robin
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Note: These Challenge Questions coincide with the Spring 2001 Reports

Date: Sun Sep 02 2001 - 16:45:28 EDT

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      My wife and I have been nurturing a baby robin that appeared in our
    driveway a couple weeks ago. It is doing quite well and I believe is ready to
    release. My question is, and I am not kidding, how do birds find worms in the
    ground? I suppose you are laughing about this, but I really don't believe
    that they "cock" their heads to "listen" for worms. That sounds like an old
    wives tale, to me. We open the cage door and our little robin flies out to
    land and will pick worms out of a bait container without missing a stab. He
    never comes up empty and he doesn't see them, since they are buried in dirt.
    They are not moving, since they come from the refrigerator and are quite
    cold. And best of all, if the container is empty, it won't try to get one. He
    knows if there are any worms in the box! Now I never really thought about it
    before, but this has me perplexed. There has got to be some good, solid
    scientific proof to how they find worms in the yard without seeing or hearing
    them. I don't believe it feels them through his feet, since it sits on the
    edge of a styrofoam container to do the picking. Somebody has to have some
    good information on this instead of theories. Can you help? I sure will
    appreciate it!
        Thank You for your time.
                                        Bob Kreis
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      It still has spots on his chest. Should we keep him a bit longer?
    Will the other birds accept him since he has been around people?

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