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Amphibia in Robin's Diet

Fred G. Evenden, Jr.
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
52
Issue: 
5 (September-October)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1950
Pages: 
238

Amphibia in Robin’s Diet.-A recent note by Gullion (Condor, 52, 1950:46), adding a member of the Class Reptilia to the diet of the Robin (T&us migratorius), reminds me of having observed a Robin feeding on an amphibian. Bent (U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull. No. 196, 1949:25-28, 48, 50-51, 57-59) makes no mention of any amphibians taken as food by the Robin.

By mid-July the shallow margins of some ponds in western Oregon possess thick, emergent stands of spatterdock (Nupkar polysepalum) with the flat, table-like leaves as much as three feet above the water surface. These stands of pond lily persist until the first fall frosts and storms. During the late summer the upper surfaces of these leaves prove attractive to a great variety of insects. The insects, in turn, attract tree frogs (Hyla regilla) which use the pond lily leaves as dining tables. I have never seen more than one tree frog on a pond lily leaf, and these only on pond lilies in shaded, or semi-shaded areas during the morning hours.

Twice on the morning of August 26, 1946, at a small pond in Linn County, about three miles east of Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon, I watched a Robin take a tree frog from the upper surface of a pond lily leaf and carry it to a fledgling perched in an Oregon ash at the edge of the pond. In one instance the frog was carried by a hind leg, and in the other, by a shoulder. Although these observations were made about one hour apart, the captures were probably made by the same Robin, or pair of Robins, since a fledgling in the same ash tree was the recipient both times.-FRED G. EVENDEN, JR., Sacramento, California, January 30, 1950. 

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