Robin Population

Hi, I’m a biotechnology student in NJ attending Rutgers. While out fishing recently I realized the large amount of the Red Winged Black bird which I’ve never seen to much of up until recently. At first I thought maybe it was like the baader-meinhof phenomenon but I had later on gotten in conversations about other people noticing them either for the first time or a lot more.

Subsequently I’ve also seen very few Robins this year. From the amount I can recall I’ve seen around 2~3. Living in NJ my entire life I’m certain the population of Robins here is supposed to be very strong so this has me concerned.

Is the Black Bird pushing into Robin territory out competing and hurting its population? Are the population changes independent of each other however connected to rise in suburban housing? Or lastly, is my worry unfounded, perhaps the Robin has avoided my attention, and the black bird was always present in large amounts but I never cared to notice?

I’d love to hear opinions from other ecologists and students. I will also be more vigilant for the next week and I’ll mark how many I see of each.