Learning to be a Red-capped Robin

I’ve a book that I really like to read when I’m stuck at home, its called “What the Robin Knows” by Jon Young. His basic premise is that by knowing the various calls and habits of birds (he uses Robins, because in the US he has a backyard full of them and beginners can easily identify them.).  In reality its about what birds do when they are birds and how a bit of watching can help work out some of the absolutely incredible stuff they do and to ask useful questions about the stuff that just seems so incomprehensible.

That we spend a lot of time with Robins, is in this case a co-incidence, but the principles he outlines apply in many respects.  If I’m working with some territorial robins, (think breeding time), I can work out from their behaviour if someone, or something is approaching the area, long before I hear or see said thing/person.

Which leads me to today’s ramble.  Very hot day, so we left in the twilight of the morning to get a good start down the track to check on the couple of pairs of Robins inside the former Bandicoot Big Brother House.

It took awhile, and some wonderful distractions from a pair of Striated Pardalotes feeding their young, and a family of Tree Martins zooming in at breakneck speed to feed their young.

Henny had the two young out hunting on their own.  He was just a supervisor, flitting down to offer advice, perfect technique and in general discuss the finer points of robining.

Just to add to the interest a second pair has also been able to get off two more, although they are still in the rufous grey and brown of younger birds, so there was plenty of entertainment.

Henny and Penny’s young are quite advanced now, I would suspect he will look after them for a week or two more, then chase them off as Penny gets down to the serious business of laying the next batch. She already has two nests on the go, but I would also suspect they are just decoys if I could find them that easily.

I’ve never seen the young after they get moved along.  They must several kilometers or more, as they don’t seem to be in the Woodlands area.  I guess it’s a gene pool thing.

Young Red-capped Robin getting the finer points of robining into practice.
Young Red-capped Robin getting the finer points of robining into practice.
Henny overseeing his progeny. He offers appropriate chips and calls, as well as hands on practical experience.
Henny overseeing his progeny. He offers appropriate chips and calls, as well as hands on practical experience.
Young bird with an insect it caught, while Henny looks on. (Approvingly?)
Young bird with an insect it caught, while Henny looks on. (Approvingly?)

Dad said to lift my wings up to scare up the bugs.

Dad said to lift my wings up to scare up the bugs.
Oh dear, that didn't seem to work.
Oh dear, that didn’t seem to work.
Visit from a younger bird from another pair. This one is still quite young and being fed by its dad.
Visit from a younger bird from another pair. This one is still quite young and being fed by its dad.
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