Tak­ing care of robins

House Beautiful (UK) - - Sustainable Home -

With its red-breasted plumage and tune­ful song, the robin is as­so­ci­ated with Christmastime. They’re ac­tu­ally around all year, but in win­ter you’re most likely to hear them at their loud­est, as this is when the males travel greater dis­tances in search of a mate.

Robins are renowned for nest­ing in un­usual lo­ca­tions, from un­der car bon­nets to derelict build­ings and sheds, hang­ing bas­kets and farm ma­chin­ery. As for all birds, sur­viv­ing the win­ter months with plum­met­ing tem­per­a­tures and less avail­able food is dif­fi­cult, but with a few sim­ple steps you can help them.

If you have a bird ta­ble, place it near a hedge, tree or bush to pro­vide cover from preda­tors. When buy­ing and po­si­tion­ing a nest box to at­tract robins and other birds, it should be open-fronted and face be­tween north and east to avoid strong sun­light. It’s best to site it in a con­cealed location among fo­liage.

Suet balls and seed mixes con­tain­ing sun­flower seeds will pro­vide in­valu­able en­ergy dur­ing the cold­est days. Meal­worms are also a great favourite with most small birds. Try to re­plen­ish food and wa­ter sup­plies reg­u­larly so birds will re­alise that there’s food in your gar­den and re­turn.

When tem­per­a­tures drop below freez­ing, de­hy­dra­tion can be­come a se­ri­ous threat to birds. Leave out a dish of fresh wa­ter along­side food so they can drink and have a bath. Clean feath­ers trap more air, help­ing birds to re­tain es­sen­tial body warmth.

Robins are at their loud­est in win­ter as they search for a mate

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.