The Cottage Smallholder

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Robins are nesting in our garden

baby robin waiting for foodI wrote a post at the beginning of April about the pair of robins living in our garden.

A few days ago I glanced out of the window and saw a robin feeding a small fat brown speckled bird. This was so unusual that I stopped and waited. It had to be a baby robin.

The adult robin flew to the fat ball and back to feed this little chap for a good five minutes until something startled them and they both shot back into the undergrowth behind the Japonica, where they must have a nest.

Robins are ground feeders but they can access fat balls easily if you hang hang them on the lids of bird feeders. And we get to see the show as the feeders are attached to the winter flowering honeysuckle just outside the kitchen robin

Within a couple of days we spotted that the baby robin had become more adventurous, flying solo to indulge at the Fat Ball Restaurant. As I watched him feed, a mouse crept along a branch to take some seed from the feeder. Tiny, quick, gentle movements. She curled her tail around a branch for stability as she stretched for the grain.

We discovered a Marie Celeste mouse nest in Danny’s shed the other day. It was filled with black sunflower seeds (a favourite with greenfinches). It must have taken many mouse miles to build up such a large store. Even though D doesn’t want mice in his shed he was concerned. What had happened to the mice and why had they left the seeds?

The garden is teeming with life. So much of it passes unnoticed.

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  1. I have a robins nest in a hanging basket under the awning near my back door. I can sometimes see little head above the earth level, but don’t like to make it too obvious I can see them,
    A robin spends time in the apple tree some 2 metres away – watching. I never see him taking food into the nest, but assume he is providing food for either mother or the baby birds.
    Is there anything I can do to make life easier, i.e. put out particular food etc. I am on alert ready to squirt any cat with water which may appear, as we get a lot of cats in our garden.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Anne

    Thanks for leaving a comment. Robins seem to be excellent parents. One of our robins does guard duty and sits on the telephone line. When I open the front door, he gives a sharp chattering cry and the chicks rush back to the shrub where the nest is located.

    We have such fun watching the birds.

  3. I too have a robin who fluters about in neighbouring trees and when your back is turned will go to her own nest in the ferns, but they left the nest today all three chicks, very attentive parents

  4. Fiona Nevile

    How clever of the robins to have some sort of strategy. Even though cats and humans (and probably Min Pins) can see straight through their antics.

    I’ve seen a thrush distract attention from her nest by chattering and fluttering away to a differnt part of the garden. But never a robin.

  5. Richard

    We have robins nesting at the back of our garden – they have chicks too, judging by their early-evening feeding routine. Amusingly, they fly into a nearby shrub as if it were there nest, then sneak into the actual shrub a few seconds later…
    We haven’t had sight of the chicks yet

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