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Blackbird feeding Eurasian Robin, UK (1 Viewer)

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Looks like a Blackbird, but out of the nest much earlier than I am used to seeing them. The legs and feet look too big for Robin
 

CARERY

Well-known member
Looks like a Blackbird, but out of the nest much earlier than I am used to seeing them. The legs and feet look too big for Robin

This young, birds have thinker legs than adults. I find the difference in size compared to the adult male Blackbird striking. Also it looks too yellowish for a juvenile Blackbird. Only Steve really agrees with Robin. Others?

Andy, you're right it is really young! Still without tail and all. But not too young to leave the nest - may be chased of though. I wonder if it grew up in the Blackbirds nest or if it is only fed by chance... being at the right time at the right place... B :)
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Well, the photographer said there were 5 of them (see description under the photo). Might be worth asking them how they're getting on (and if they have any other pics). A bit strange for sure ...
 

WalterRayle

Emeritus Prof at University of the Bearded Clam
United Kingdom
Looks like a Robin to me too, probably a case of the instinct of the male Blackbird in breeding season being begged at by a chick, so naturally it fed whatever was begging. I've seen Blackbird feeding a Dunnock fledgling that was begging at it and possibly more weirdly a Starling feeding a fledgling House Sparrow that was begging from its own parents.
It's been widely reported in the past how non host species have been seen feeding begging Cuckoo fledglings, purely based on the same instinct 'something's begging, I'm feeding young at the moment, therefore I'll feed this begging chick'.
 

CARERY

Well-known member
Looks like a Robin to me too, probably a case of the instinct of the male Blackbird in breeding season being begged at by a chick, so naturally it fed whatever was begging. I've seen Blackbird feeding a Dunnock fledgling that was begging at it and possibly more weirdly a Starling feeding a fledgling House Sparrow that was begging from its own parents.
It's been widely reported in the past how non host species have been seen feeding begging Cuckoo fledglings, purely based on the same instinct 'something's begging, I'm feeding young at the moment, therefore I'll feed this begging chick'.

Interesting info, thanks. Now that you mention it, I remember that a friend told me a few years back two nestbox dwelling species, Nuthatch and Blue Tit, were nesting in the same tree. After the Nuthatch chicks were fledged, one of the Nuthatches started to feed the Blue Tits still in their box. It actually went into the box and every time had to work hard to get through this too small hole |8.|
 

Gaz Shilton

Well-known member
Last year I saw a willow warbler feeding a fledgling swallow. Parent swallows would come in and feed it. When they left the warbler would pop in and feed it. Greedy little begger. Must be that urge to feed a youngster.
 

max1

Well-known member
Hi all: thanks to Carery for getting the ball rolling. The story is this: we were staying overnight at my son’s in Uppingham where they have a small garden but with established shrubs and trees. They have a big flower pot with a shrub against a wall which has a nest at the back with 4 or 5 chicks. In the afternoon, the male blackbird ( the female only made rare appearances) was constantly bringing worms etc when he wasn’t chasing a robin away who also had food and tried to get close to the nest. The following morning we saw a robin fledgling on the other side of the garden in a bush with the robin in attendance. During lunch outside, a fledgeling appeared from the pot (it seemed to tumble out) and then scrambled into the undergrowth , followed at intervals by siblings. In the photo I posted the fledgeling being fed which seemed less developed than the first escapee on we saw on the other side of the garden. Above the pot with the nest in it, in a clematis against the wall, was an abandoned nest with two mottled blue cold eggs (like blackbird eggs). Seems that maybe the blackbirds had failed to produce chicks of their own and had instead taken over the robins’ clutch.
No update on their status: we're in Santiago de Compostela
 

CARERY

Well-known member
Thanks Max for the additional information! The failed-to-produce-own-chicks-hypothesis seems reasonable. Very interesting is the part that the male Blackbird chased of the Robin... strange things can happen.
 

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