Rockin’ Robin!

Middleton Guardian - - WILDLIFE -

WE don’t of­ten talk about robins out­side of win­ter but this is one bird that de­lights us all year round.

And I have had the plea­sure of re­ceiv­ing a num­ber of pic­tures of a young robin grow­ing up on one of our na­ture re­serves.

Of course robins are coura­geous birds and this lit­tle fel­low def­i­nitely was not cam­era shy.

It posed for a num­ber of pho­tog­ra­phers chart­ing the first six months of its life

n one or two of the shots it def­i­nitely hadn’t combed its feath­ers and was look­ing di­shev­elled af­ter cop­ing with the wet and windy spring and sum­mer we have suf­fered in the north west.

Robins are a ter­ri­to­rial bird and this is why we see them so of­ten.

They will ap­proach hu­mans and other birds in­form­ing us in no uncer­tain terms that: “This is my ter­ri­tory, now hop it!”

They will even fight with other robins to de­fend their manor and this would ex­plain why you will only see one or two birds in your gar­den at any one time.

In fact, if a robin comes to your bird ta­ble it is prob­a­bly go­ing to be the same one or one of a pair, with a nest nearby.

Dur­ing the breed­ing sea­son a male will al­low a fe­male into its ter­ri­tory to build a nest but usu­ally they are hop­ping around on their own.

Other ways to know a robin is in the area is by its loud ter­ri­to­rial song.

It will sit on a prom­i­nent perch and let fly with clear and var­ied song.

I have been told that a robin’s reper­toire of song in­creases as it gets older. There are also sub­tle dif­fer­ences be­tween dif­fer­ent robins of dif­fer­ent ages.

The male robin also sings with more pas­sion in the morn­ing and dur­ing the mat­ing sea­son, when he is keep­ing ri­vals away from his lady friend. The robin is the UK’s most pop­u­lar bird and one of the most wide­spread.

They will nest in odd places like plant pots, old wellies and shelves – ivy and other shrubs are their nat­u­ral choice.

For those of you who don’t know, robins are brown above with a white belly and a fa­mously red breast.

Our young robin went from a mot­tled, spotty, golden brown to a red breast which grad­u­ally ap­peared by the end of sum­mer.

We must all ap­pre­ci­ate robins in our gar­dens, they will sit on your spade await­ing your labour as you dig up worms for their lunch.

They will jump into a ruckus of spar­rows and star­lings, stand­ing their ground as they feed on bird ta­bles. I have al­ways loved robins but watch­ing one grow up week by week will stay in my thoughts for a long time..

To sup­port the O work of the Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side. Text WILD09 with the amount you want to do­nate to 70070. For more in­for­ma­tion about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewil­dlifetrust. org.uk

Terry Jolly

The lit­tle robin last month

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