Talkback: Robins in the gardenJump to latest post
21 to 29 of 29 replies
21 to 29 of 29 replies
Is there any difference between male and female robins. We have 2 robins who seem to live quite happliy together in the garden but they are different sizes the more friendly one is very round and much bigger than the other. Their colouring is the same. I wondered whether they were mates or just different ages.
<span class="credit-wrap" style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px; width: 180px; height: 230px; position: relative; display: inline-block;"><br class="Apple-interchange-newline" /><img style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; position: static; display: inline;" src="http://www.rspb.org.uk/images/cache/robin_180_tcm9-64545_v1.jpg" alt="Robin on magnolia tree" width="180" height="230" /><br style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" /><span class="image-caption" style="margin: 0px 5px 5px; padding: 0px 0px 0px 15px; background-image: url('http://www.rspb.org.uk/images/cache/standardbuttons_tcm9-246039_v9.png'); display: block; font-size: 10px; background-position: -593px -200px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">As a species the robin is doing very well and its population has increased by 45% since 1970.
Along with other small songbirds, robins are relatively short-lived. They live, on average, only a couple of years, but a few reach quite an advanced age. The oldest known wild individual was 11 years 5 months.
Mortality is high and its causes are many and varied. Only around 40 per cent of fledged birds will survive from one year to the next. High levels of mortality are compensated for by high productivity and the robin population has increased by 45 per cent since 1970.
Severe winter weather can have severe impacts on robins. A bird can use up to 10% of its body weight during one cold winters night, and unless able to feed well every day to replenish its reserves, a prolonged cold spell can be fatal.
In normal circumstances the fat reserves built up by the bird will keep it going for a few days, but mortality tends to increase rapidly if a cold spell continues into a second week.
Birdtables can make a big difference to the survival of urban and suburban robins. The favourite birdtable treat is mealworms. Other useful foods are meaty kitchen scraps, fat, cheese, cake and biscuit crumbs, and dried fruit. Peanuts are also taken, but they are better shredded or crushed than whole.
Last modified: 22 July 2011
thanks for all those tips for bird food. we've just moved to a house in the country and the first thing my partner did the first day we were here (before we'd even unpacked!) was to go out and build a bird table. I was so surprised and delighted. He used scrap wood and an old wooden pole and a load of wooden childrens building blocks of london buildings to edge it! He drove me all over the countryside to get bird food and equipped teh table with 4 different hanging feeders. He then spent the next 2 days getting quite frustrated that no bird came anywhere near it. Day 3 our first visitor was a curious robin, soon followed by coal tits, great tits, grren finches and even the odd crow! The robin has been joined this week by a mate. Presume its a breeding pair. Can't tell the difference between male and female robins, as they look the same. We spend hours watching them at meal and tea break times and it is a transforming experience.
The only downside was coming out last week to find a dead greenfinch hanging by its leg in teh metal feeder. This was a silver metal peanut feeder with twist on top and bottom, much like a jamjar, the poor thing had caught its toe in the twist shit mechanism and had probably died of shock trying to free itself. Very distressing, I won't be using those feeders again. has anyone else heard of this happening, Had this happen?
I put mealworms out for the robin but her preferred soggy digestive biscuits!!