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Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:43 pm
Over the last couple of weeks it was evident that there was some Robin nesting activity in the ivy on my side wall. I was watching today and saw constant coming and going s from two birds each accessing the same piece of ivy. The young 'uns have hatched.
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 9:01 pm
Great news JS.
Posted: Fri May 13, 2022 6:26 pm
Hi, I would appreciate if you could answer some of my questions, I have quite a lot of them.
I bought live mealworms. I put them in a tall rectangular box after Cornish ice cream, made holes in the lid, sliced an apple for them and put them among garden tools under the gazebo. I have heard people are storing them in the fridge to keep them longer in their larva state. Should I do anything else for them? How long will they survive in the box being stored in the garden? Do I need to clean the box from the skin they shed? Should I remove the remains of the apple they didn’t finish or will they eat it eventually? I’ve heard I shouldn’t give them water to not drown them, is it a good idea to at least spray them with water a little bit?
Should I limit how many worms I give to the pair of the robins or it’s safe to give them as much as they want? I am 99,9% sure they are in the time of feeding their chicks back in their nest on one of the trees in my neighbour’s garden.
I also give them oats but since I began feeding them with mealworms, they choose them over the oats 9 times out of 10.
Those little birds are so amazing, I love to observe how they gain more and more trust, in steps. First, I have limited the distance with them within few steps and then I tried to feed them from my hand. At first, they came only to grab and run, later to land on my hand and quickly grab and run but now they feel safe to land on the hand, think for a while, pick and grab few and then they go so they stay even up to 10 seconds before they fly away. I wonder what will be the next step of trust and I can’t wait.
The only think I don’t like now is that whenever I take my own food to the garden, they are looking at it as if I brought it for them so I need to be watchful. I guess it’s easy to watch out my own food from a pair of robins (who are very territorial) compered to a family of sparrows who could cause a rude awakening for anybody who would made them too familiar.
I will greatly appreciate if you have any advices how to treat my little friends and how to continue taming them. Also, what to do about the mealworms so they last longer and not die or transform into beetles.
Posted: Fri May 13, 2022 8:06 pm
Firstly welcome to the forum Roman111
You have asked a good few questions but it seems you are not too far away from doing the right thing. Personally I have always kept the live mealworms in the bag they came in making sure the opening on the top was secure at all times . I never bothered about feeding them as the suppliers put a few sheets of newspaper in with them which seemed to keep them happy. If you don't order too many at once they won't last long enough to pupate. I use a meshed feeder to exclude the Starling and Blackbirds so that only Robins, Sparrows and the Tit family can get to the container. I put an open dish on the floor for the bigger birds. My method was basically to supply worms a couple of time per day and not too many as it must be remembered you are supplementing their natural food and not completely replacing it.
I have no advice to offer on the taming of birds.
Posted: Fri May 13, 2022 8:20 pm
Hi Roman111 and welcome. I feed live mealworms for most of the year. I have a caged feeder also that just the smaller birds can get in. Very busy with house sparrows at the moment, taking away mealworms for babies.
Posted: Sat May 14, 2022 7:31 pm
My pair of nesting Robins are still busy feeding but I think fledging will not be long now.
Posted: Sat May 14, 2022 7:44 pm
Sounds very good JS .
Posted: Mon May 16, 2022 12:33 pm
Thank you for warm welcome and for your advices.
I would be very happy if I could see the young ones of my pair but they have their nest on someone else’s property. I just bought a robin nester, should I put it out once my pair moves out or the beginning of the next spring? Or maybe it doesn’t matter because I can get some other birds like wrens? I believe robins won’t tolerate only other robins but should get along with other species.
I’ll take a liberty of asking even more questions.
What are the enemies of robins, beyond the obvious ones like a goshawk? Few weeks ago, I was a witness of something really unusual. Two robins were happily eating oats out of the little box I prepared for them and I was standing under the gazebo next to the garden table umbrella and suddenly a goshawk swoop down just in front of me, no more than 2 metres away from me. He was after the robins of course but missed fortunately. However, few days later I saw feathers with orange endings and one of the robins gone missing so I believe that the goshawk got him eventually. Soon after another robin joined so the pair I feed and try to tame is a pair with the new robin.
A not obvious enemy in my opinion would be a magpie, do magpies steal other bird’s eggs for example? Today I saw one of the robins with beak full of mealworms waiting and crying out on a magpie because it sat on the robin’s flight passage that he usually takes to get to his nest.
Another interesting thing is to know the robin’s noises what it makes.
There is this long “feeeeeee… feeeeee….” Then there are the quick and short chirps and finally more melodic twittering that I noticed they use to attract my attention when they want me to feed them. What do those noises mean? Or is it just the bird’s talk and no one knows what it means?
Posted: Mon May 16, 2022 8:07 pm
Quite a few questions there
I will try to answer some but others may have better answers. Robins do not often go for nest boxes but prefer a shelf-like arrangement they can build their nest on. Male Wrens build several nests and then the female selects one of them to lay her eggs so it is unlikely they will select a nest box for a nest. Wrens will use nest boxes in severe weather for warmth and shelter.
The most likely garden predator is a Sparrowhawk which is a smaller relative of the Goshawk. Goshawks are rare and mostly live in heavily wooded areas. Magpies are opportunists and will raid a nest if they come across it.
Posted: Sun May 22, 2022 2:39 pm
At some point I’ll try and put the nester out. At this point unlikely is much better than being stored in the garage.
The predator bird I saw was most likely a goshawk it was too large for a sparrow hawk.
On this Friday I ordered a second pack of 200g mealworms that arrived on Saturday. It’s funny how the pair of robins hang around waiting for the worms. Because for a while I ran out of them, I have moved few flower beds so they could inspect what was under them. I discovered they love centipedes as much as the mealworms.
Anyway, today morning I had a little treat myself. I saw my robin’s young ones. They are out off their nest but still being feed by their parents. I saw them off a distance but it would be amazing if the parents brought them closer.