Dear Sun Spots: There are flocks and flocks of robins here this winter. They huddle in the trees in my neighborhood. Poor things, I wonder why they are here and what they could be finding to eat. Who would know why they didn’t fly south? – Terri, Auburn.

Answer: According to an article in the February 2008 issue of “Downeast Magazine” robins are fairly common winter residents in Maine, especially along the coast. The article quoted Professor Rebecca Holberton, an ornithologist at the University of Maine. She said “Robins will stay as close to their summer breeding grounds as possible. [They] are really short-distance migrants if they can get away with it.” She also noted that they tend to stay in large flocks during the winter and will stay near big patches of fruit. In fact, a Sun Journal reader called a few weeks ago to report hundreds of robins perched on his ornamental pear trees every morning.

The article stated that robins carry enough fat reserves to survive for several days if bad weather prevents them from feeding, but an ice storm or lengthy blizzard will force them farther south in search of food.

Dear Sun Spots: Lewiston High School currently offers a traditional black and white photography class as an art elective. This is a very popular hands-on course. The program is in desperate need of 35mm film cameras. With the increase in digital photography, we are having trouble keeping kids equipped with working film cameras. We are hopeful that Sun Spots readers may have an unused 35mm film camera or two that they no longer use, and would be willing to donate to our cause. With your kind donations, our programs will continue to serve many students in the community. If you would like to donate a film camera, you may drop it off in the main office at LHS, or please call 782-0637 for pickup. Thank you very much. – Jane, Lewiston High School.

Dear Sun Spots: Please let your editors know that I am upset by the shortening of your column. I appreciate the frugal recipes, but really enjoy all the people who write to you. I do not object as the other griper did when you publish words to songs. I cut out the one about the teddy bear’s picnic recently. Keep up the good work. – Frances C. Miller, Lewiston.

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