Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Black Robin?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 11:56   #1
VickityV
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 6
Black Robin?

For the last few days I have seen an unusual bird at my bird feeder and I'm wondering if anyone can give me any pointers - I am a novice, but I'm learning.
It is similar to our resident european robin, but perhaps a little skinnier. It has a full red breast, but the brown feathers are much darker, almost black and there are no lighter feathers under the breast as with the european robin. If I didn't know better I would say it was an american robin but was far too small to be that. I haven't been able to get a photo of it yet as I haven't been quick enough... and I've looked through my bird book and the only thing I can find which is remotely similar is the stonechat, but I'm not convinced about that either. Any ideas? I will of course post a photo if I am successful in getting one x
VickityV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 12:08   #2
delia todd
Moderator but....... If I say the wrong thing put it down to Senior Moments
BF Supporter 2020
 
delia todd's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Perthshire
Posts: 274,783
Hi Vicky and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I've moved your post to the ID forum as they are better placed to help you. I also subscribed you to the thread so that you can find it easily, but simply clicking on the link in the email you will receive with any replies.

If you do manage to get a picture and need any help in uploading it, please don't be afraid to ask.

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy your time here with us.
__________________
In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed

My Lockdown List report - 2019 Down Under Trip Report

2006 63, 2007 52, 2008 46, 2009 32, 2010 31, 2011 27 Total 81 Last Patch tick: Magpie (locally scarce)

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die - Thomas Campbell (17771844)


The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing - Socrates
delia todd is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 12:28   #3
PW23
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: St Albans
Posts: 46
Hi VickityV,

Your description of "full red breast" made me think Bullfinch or Redstart. Both have black colouration along with light grey. The Redstart is likely the skinnier option. What do you think?
PW23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 12:57   #4
VickityV
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PW23 View Post
Hi VickityV,

Your description of "full red breast" made me think Bullfinch or Redstart. Both have black colouration along with light grey. The Redstart is likely the skinnier option. What do you think?
Thank you for your response. It's possible, but I don't remember seeing any white, grey or light patches on this bird - Common Redstart appears to have a paler head, which this bird definitely didn't - Bullfinch again appears to have a grey back and paler colour under the breast which again doesn't seem to fit. It's a puzzle - I will definitely try and get a photo when it returns.
VickityV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 12:58   #5
VickityV
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 6
Thank you Delia, much appreciated! I will definitely try and get a photo!
VickityV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 15:10   #6
Larry Sweetland
Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
 
Larry Sweetland's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bristol
Posts: 7,936
It might get be useful to note how it behaves too. Does it hop on the ground? Does it cling to bags of nuts? Does it shiver it's tail when it lands? That kind of thing. As well as the shape of it's bill, colour of it's bill and legs etc. Basically as much detail as you can note. Hope it comes back!
Larry Sweetland is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 30th April 2020, 20:40   #7
MalR
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: sunderland
Posts: 559
Is it possible that this is just a melanistic robin?

Malcolm
MalR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2020, 07:41   #8
dantheman
Bah humbug
 
dantheman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 13,502
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalR View Post
Is it possible that this is just a melanistic robin?
I was wondering that. They seem rarer than paler leucistic birds (eg googlig I didn't see any images of darker birds), generally speaking tho.

Guess we'll find out if there's a photo ...

... even a poor photo may help.
__________________
stithiansreservoirbirding.blogspot.co.uk/ - last update 10/11/15 - really rather remarkable still!!!

Last edited by dantheman : Friday 1st May 2020 at 07:52.
dantheman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2020, 09:37   #9
VickityV
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalR View Post
Is it possible that this is just a melanistic robin?

Malcolm
What's a melanistic robin? (Sorry, I am such a novice!) xxx
VickityV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2020, 09:45   #10
delia todd
Moderator but....... If I say the wrong thing put it down to Senior Moments
BF Supporter 2020
 
delia todd's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Perthshire
Posts: 274,783
Hi again Vickity,

Melanism is basically a bird showing much darker plumage than is the norm - you can read more about this in our Opus Dictionary HERE.

I hope this helps.
__________________
In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed

My Lockdown List report - 2019 Down Under Trip Report

2006 63, 2007 52, 2008 46, 2009 32, 2010 31, 2011 27 Total 81 Last Patch tick: Magpie (locally scarce)

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die - Thomas Campbell (17771844)


The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing - Socrates
delia todd is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 1st May 2020, 09:47   #11
VickityV
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Sweetland View Post
It might get be useful to note how it behaves too. Does it hop on the ground? Does it cling to bags of nuts? Does it shiver it's tail when it lands? That kind of thing. As well as the shape of it's bill, colour of it's bill and legs etc. Basically as much detail as you can note. Hope it comes back!
Hi Larry, thank you for your response. It behaves exactly like my pair of robins - I through at first it was a juvenile because it has appeared with my resident robins a few times but according to my book, it's completely wrong for a juvenile... (and the fact that my robins don't seem bothered by it's presence makes me think it's probably not a robin...?)

It appears to prefer eating from the ground or a flat surface, rather than the bird feeders - I can't say about beak or legs as I haven't been able to see closely enough, but it's a much darker brown than a robin and it has
a full red breast and it's underbelly appears to be a little 'thrush' like - very slight salt and peppering to the feathers. It's very slightly skinnier than a robin too.

I'm really puzzled and I did get a photo of it, but it's very poor and the bird just appears as a brown blur.
VickityV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 1st May 2020, 09:52   #12
VickityV
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Hi again Vickity,

Melanism is basically a bird showing much darker plumage than is the norm - you can read more about this in our Opus Dictionary HERE.

I hope this helps.
Hi Delia,

Thank you for that - yes I suppose it's possible, it really does just look like a very slightly skinner and much darker robin.... would be nice if that was the answer.

Can you tell me, is it likely that a robin wouldn't recognise a melanistic robin as a threat? I ask because it's appeared at the same time as my 'resident' robins and they appear to feed quite happily side by side?
VickityV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The black robin JTweedie Conservation 0 Sunday 5th January 2014 17:13
black bush robin and Rofous bush robin ammadoux Bird Behaviour 0 Tuesday 24th September 2013 01:57
Black Robin newbird Birds & Birding 6 Saturday 28th January 2006 16:36
robin with a black cap. blackbird14 Birds & Birding 13 Saturday 30th April 2005 17:25



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.11672711 seconds with 26 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 06:09.