It’s a pleasant sunny afternoon here and I just threw some bird food along with mealworms on the patio table, about two metres away from where I sit.
As expected the male robin was there before I sat down, closely followed by his mate. Then a small, spotty-coloured bird joined them with a squeak, and the male gave it a beak full of worm and they both flew off into the bushes.
There is a nest on the light fixture above my garage. Whenever I go get the mail (a multi box unit next door) a robin will go nuts. Recently I noticed the babies have hatched. There are at least two and i think more.
I haven’t seen many robins hereabouts for the last several years; instead — and without implying either correlation or causation — I’ve been seeing California Scrub Jays, which seem to be making their way north. While I kinda miss the “first robin of spring,” I do find the jays to be altogether more attractive and interesting.
The shrubs in front of my parents’ house has hosted many robin families, and I’ll never forget when 2 eggs appeared, with a 3rd the next day, and then a couple weeks later, two babies hatched followed by a third the following day. If it was quiet enough, I could hear them peeping; their bodies were about the size of a marble, with heads that weren’t much smaller, and they resembled Thansgiving turkeys for the first couple of days.
I now live by a creek with ducks, and they’re also a lot of fun to watch.
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that the robins on my table are English. Apparently they are from different families of birds.
The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the Old World flycatcher family.
When we moved in to our current place we inherited a bird feeder on a post. It has a roof sort of like a miniature gazebo and for the second straight year, robins nested in it. It’s not an ideal location since my cold frame is nearby and in the spring gets tended every day, to the resentment of bird parents. This year after flying away and squawking angrily at me from nearby branches whenever I appeared, the mom eventually learned to tolerate my approach to within a few feet.
One day the nestlings had all vanished, seemingly while too young to have learned to fly. I am hopeful they took flight lessons while I wasn’t paying attention, but maybe something was able to climb up that post…
I always thought the US robin was misnamed redbreast because of it’s obvious orange color. Then I saw the UK version, with the almost florescent orange breast and figured the US was closer to red than the UK was, so I chalked it up as a win for the US.
Robins are really scarce this year, I think I only have two pair. I usually can’t keep count of them as I feed them raisins right on the patio where I sit. Front row seat for all the fake robin fights over food.
My poor robins seem to have raised a couple of cuckoos. They are now much bigger than the “parents” and quite capable of feeding themselves, but whenever they see a robin they go straight into ‘chick’ mode and start begging for food.
The feeders are in need of topping up and I have been watching them. I think that the robins are finally wising up and realising that these hulking great brutes are no kin of theirs.
Sad for the robins but interesting for me. Maybe they will have another go?
The babies in the nest above my garage light have gone. I also have a nest in the back om my house above where the downspout curves back from the eave towards the house.
Earlier this year the nest was empty. I was checking my eaves for maple seeds and noticed some babies (I think 3) in that nest. Unlike the nest in the front, I was not screamed at by the parent(s).
I was actually getting a bit worried when I didn’t see them when I checked periodically. I did spot one of the parents today (whew)
Don’t touch them, or their nest, nor any other baby bird. They can be crawling with mites, that will swarm over your hand and up your arm in seconds. Also, if the chicks smell like a stranger, the parents may abandon them.
I didn’t touch them, only saw them form the ladder. But the odor thing isn’t true
The idea that once you’ve touched a baby bird it will be rejected is not true, says Susan Elbin, director of conservation and science at New York City Audubon. “Birds have a sense of smell, but it’s not very well developed,” Elbin says. “They’re not going to abandon their chick.”
Late to the party, but here’s a photo I took on my allotment/community garden a few weeks ago - you’ll probably need to click on it to see the full picture (still trying to figure out how to post from google photos - any advice gratefully received).
I don’t know about US robins, but the striking thing about the European robin - especially when they have a hungry brood - is that they are completely fearless around people. This photo was taken on a phone from about two feet. The second I started digging this guy was on the case - it can be scary digging as you’re fearful of hitting them. Last year one misjudged a turn and flew into my face (I was just brushed by a wing, so no harm done).