Robin nest INSIDE the greenhouse!

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John M

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Thanks for the photos John. Yes, not a species you see around here. :)

I assume it is a common garden bird? Yes, very common around here. They're almost the first birds to migrate North in the spring (arriving well before the snow is gone) and one of the earliest to begin nesting......and there's plenty of them. They spend a great deal of their day hunting for insects and earthworms in the short grass of mowed lawns and they prefer to nest in trees and on buildings, close to the ground....normally about 5' to 10' high. The plentiful areas of mowed grass with many compact, ornamental trees, along with all the common types of back-yard infrastructure (fences, pergolas, etc.), typical of urban and suburban environments, provides them with ideal habitat.It looks more like a Thrush which you see commonly in gardens here. Yes, they are actually a Thrush. These are mostly introduced from Europe. I think everywhere has birds called robins but they are generally unrelated. Right. The American Robin was called "a Robin" because it reminded people of the English Robin. There is also the Pekin Robin (commonly sold as a cage bird here years ago; but, very rare now), which also looks and behaves like it might be related; but, I bet it's not....at least, not very closely. This is an example of what we call a robin - a male Flame Robin. You won't see these nesting in your garden though. Too bad! That's BEAUTIFUL! Even the male American Robin here doesn't have colour that bright. What a gorgeous little bird! They normally breed high up in the mountains in the summer and come down to lower Canberra area in winter.
Angela, notice that in a couple of my photos, "Mom" has raised her head feathers? They don't have any sort of crest; but, they do seem to think that they do because when they get "peeved", they raise their head feathers, which even gives them a "pissed off" look. Of course, when protecting their young, they also hurl insults at the intruder as well as click their beaks, by snapping their beak shut, hard and fast. It's their Robin version of growling like a junk-yard dog to let you know they mean business.
 

PaphMadMan

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Thanks for the photos John. Yes, not a species you see around here. :)

I assume it is a common garden bird? It looks more like a Thrush which you see commonly in gardens here...
The American Robin is a type of Thrush (genus Turdus). This genus has world-wide distribution so similar birds occur in many places, though the coloring differs.
 

abax

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The Flame Robin is a gorgeous bird. Is it common in your
area emydura?

I didn't notice the "crest" until you mentioned it John. I just noticed she was giving you the stink eye that's fairly
common with skunks just before that lethal tail comes
up. Once the tail is up and they stomp their feet it's too
late to run! The message is pretty clear from the robin and our skunks. As an aside, I was walking in the woods
one day and got knocked to the ground by two Pileated
Woodpeckers...very serious about nest protecting.
 

emydura

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The Flame Robin is a gorgeous bird. Is it common in your
area emydura?

g.
Locally common I guess. You need to know where they are. You won't see them in parks and gardens. They don't tend to be around human settlement much. In summer you need to drive up into the mountains where the alpine meadows are. They are much easier to see in winter when they come down from the mountains and congregate on farms and such around Canberra. There is a farm only a few minutes drive from my place where I often walk and photograph birds. You can see them in large numbers at this time of year. You can be standing in the middle of a field and you are surrounded by all these Flame Robins perched on fence posts and flowering stalks. It is stunning.

There are several different species of these type of robins. This Scarlet Robin is another one you can see in Canberra and can be often found in parks within the city (as long as there are some trees or shrubs). I took this photo only a few hundred metres from my place down by the creek. Again, I only see these in winter in Canberra itself. Flame Robins tend to prefer more open areas whereas Scarlet Robins like a bit more vegetation cover, although you can see them together at times.

 

abax

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Sort of makes our robins look a little homely, doesn't it? I
like our plain robins for their song in spring more than for
looks really.

emydura, I never got over to Canberra when I visited. Now I wish I had! You've got one BIG damn country!
 

cnycharles

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Nice pics from both.
North American robins can be quite visible, quite generally used to people and being very active in the human landscape and even nesting on objects over doorways or in front of windows under overhangs. But friend Matt who helped me start native orchid hunting and who works with the cornell ornithology lab told me there are like two sub races or personality types of American robins. The other is very shy and secretive living in deep woods and flies away at the first sign of people. Since he mentioned this, I've observed the woodsy variety while looking for orchids or other interesting things

The one we know I think took advantage of space cleared by humans and so seems to the more common type, but before widespread open areas were cleared forests were more the norm
I call them the 'tourist bird' because they can be noisy gregarious and often acting in a belligerent fashion :) . I've often seen them leave a safe spot along the road to fly directly in front of my car... if they were bothered why don't they fly 'away' from the car ;) kind of a 'duh' factor, and they can be scattered over the landscape sometimes fighting each other


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Stone

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Thanks for the photos John. Yes, not a species you see around here. :)

I assume it is a common garden bird? It looks more like a Thrush which you see commonly in gardens here. These are mostly introduced from Europe. I think everywhere has birds called robins but they are generally unrelated. This is an example of what we call a robin - a male Flame Robin. You won't see these nesting in your garden though. They normally breed high up in the mountains in the summer and come down to the lower Canberra area in winter.


David, the American robin is more like our blackbird in size and habits. Nothing like our little guys. When I first moved down here my neighbour said they were very common a decade ago. He said the back fence was ''red'' with them sometimes and 7 years ago I did see many during winter. I haven't seen one for years.
 

emydura

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David, the American robin is more like our blackbird in size and habits. Nothing like our little guys. When I first moved down here my neighbour said they were very common a decade ago. He said the back fence was ''red'' with them sometimes and 7 years ago I did see many during winter. I haven't seen one for years.
Thanks Mike. We get lots of blackbirds here. They do so sound very similar in nature. Bush birds are declining in general in Australia. I don't know many places where you see the Flame Robin, but where I do they are found in high numbers.

Great photos, David. What lens etc?
Thanks Stephen. The setup is a Nikon D800 camera with a Sigma 150-600 mm Sports lens and a Sigma 1.4 TC. Unfortunately the TC is now completely stuck on the camera and I can't remove it. I sent it in for repair and the quote is $500 to take off the TC and fix the mount. I'm not sure if it is worth it. The Nikon D850 is just about to be released. I can still use the Nikon D800 as a dedicated bird camera. I just can't take off the TC and put on another lens.
 

John M

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Yes, David. I get the feeling that I could've just stood there and watch the chick grow! Going from a naked, blind, deaf, helpless blob of flesh the size of a large grape to this in 13 days is just crazy! However, I knew they grow fast, which is why I decided to allow the parents to continue "squatting" in my greenhouse. It's been cool to watch; but, also a MAJOR pain! I'm busy and I need to work in the greenhouse and the nest is in a tree that is on a rolling bench. It's been difficult to say the least to get anything done and still not cause the parents to abandon the chick. I'm glad I have the photos and that I had the experience; but, I'll not let birds nest in the greenhouse again....too difficult to work around. Also, I've got 120 newly potted out flasks of Phrags on a nearby bench. At one point, one of the parents was scolding me from that bench and he/she was having a hissy fit while hopping all over my seedlings! It occured to me that if either of the parents decide that they should dig for worms in those compots, it could cost me tens of thousands of dollars! I gotta be sensible. So, this was fun; but, I'll not allow it to happen again next year! I look forward to this little one moving out into the big world this weekend. Then, I'll start closing the vent in the evening before dark to discourage any ideas of this pair deciding to squeeze in just one more brood before they get the urge to call it a season and migrate South.
 

abax

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My goodness, he looks like a real bird now!!! Congratulations dad! John, there's a fabric at Charlie's
Greenhouse Supply that you can place over the louvers
that only blocks 1% of moving air. I've been using it for
years and it only has to be changed a couple of times a
year when it gets dirty. Love the stuff.
 

John M

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Thanks for the info, Angela. I've been thinking that I should put up something like that to help keep out bugs too. However, one thing I do really, really love in the summer is the hummingbirds coming in to feed on the Impatiens and Passiflora flowers inside the greenhouse. I'd really miss that. However, I've also been thinking of installing some sort of evaporative cooling at the back vent, which would also keep ALL the birds out. This summer has been very comfortable here; but, the previous 2 years were incredibly hot and the Phrags and Disas suffer in that kind of extreme heat.
 

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