Thursday, 21 December 2006

Robin Surprise

As it's Christmas and the Robin is the most illustrated bird for a week I thought I should do a feature!
I'm used to seeing Robins feeding in the garden. While we're digging, or to be more truthful, while my wife's digging the garden one often feeds within inches of the spade, picking up small insects and worms. I was surprised when our population began to come on suspended feeders containing sunflower seeds, but for the last couple of years it's been a regular sight.
Even more of a surprise was the bird below. This was caught by Mark Love in the South Foreland Valley, a couple of years ago, while he was ringing migrants, part of the scientific research done by the British Trust for Ornithology. It IS a Robin but it has a pigment deficiency and it looks very strange when you first see it. It hang around for a while and surprised a few birders who were not aware it was in residence.


Josy said...

Now, even the top photo looks funny to me. I don't think I've ever seen a robin with a red face.

Tony Morris said...
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Tony Morris said...

Hi Josy, you are used to seeing the species, American Robin, 'Turdus Migratorius'. This is a thrush that was named "Robin" by earlier european settlers because it reminded them of the (Eurasian) Robin, 'Erithacus rubecula'. When they made Mary Poppins the robin they showed in a London park was the American Robin, it was a sout of place as Dick Van Dyke's cockney accent!