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Robin with a Napoleon Complex (1 Viewer)

Sarah C.

New member
United States
For the past week or so we have had an American robin (male) coming to our bird feeder. They don't usually come near our feeder because it has nothing they eat, but this one seems to like digging around in the soft soil around it. He has been aggressively defending the area, which is something I've never seen a robin do before. He dives at everything that comes close, from cardinals to mourning doves to sparrows. At one point a whole flock of blackbirds landed in the yard and he tried (unsuccessfully) to guard the small spot of soil from the whole flock. He has even gotten into physical altercations with mockingbirds. Is this normal? All the robins I have ever seen seem to tolerate other birds and don't monopolize one spot. It is also winter here, so I don't think it has anything to do with breeding ground territory. He struts around on the ground and puffs up his chest continually, even when there aren't any birds nearby. I also haven't seen any other robins in the area recently, so he seems to be alone. Does anyone know what is going on here? Is this typical behavior I just haven't noticed before, or is this something strange?
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I have never seen a Robin on any of my many feeders. They will pick up fallen seed on the ground and usually our Robins are quite shy. Nothing like you have witnessed Sarah.

Hi there Sarah and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like ;)
 

Sarah C.

New member
United States
I have never seen a Robin on any of my many feeders. They will pick up fallen seed on the ground and usually our Robins are quite shy. Nothing like you have witnessed Sarah.

Hi there Sarah and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like ;)
Thank you!
 

Tired

Well-known member
United States
That is strange. I wonder if he might have some sort of hormone issue making him more aggressive?
 

Lewood

New member
United States
For the past week or so we have had an American robin (male) coming to our bird feeder. They don't usually come near our feeder because it has nothing they eat, but this one seems to like digging around in the soft soil around it. He has been aggressively defending the area, which is something I've never seen a robin do before. He dives at everything that comes close, from cardinals to mourning doves to sparrows. At one point a whole flock of blackbirds landed in the yard and he tried (unsuccessfully) to guard the small spot of soil from the whole flock. He has even gotten into physical altercations with mockingbirds. Is this normal? All the robins I have ever seen seem to tolerate other birds and don't monopolize one spot. It is also winter here, so I don't think it has anything to do with breeding ground territory. He struts around on the ground and puffs up his chest continually, even when there aren't any birds nearby. I also haven't seen any other robins in the area recently, so he seems to be alone. Does anyone know what is going on here? Is this typical behavior I just haven't noticed before, or is this something strange?
Just curious... we too have had one rather lonely robin appear at our heavily populated feeder area. The robin is on the ground appearing to eat fallen seeds... lots under there. What does a robin eat otherwise?
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
Just curious... we too have had one rather lonely robin appear at our heavily populated feeder area. The robin is on the ground appearing to eat fallen seeds... lots under there. What does a robin eat otherwise?

In winter, if they're not being fed, robins will subsist on fruit and berries still hanging on branches from the fall. If the winter is mild enough for the ground to be bare, they'll look on the ground and under leaf litter for anything edible -- insects if they're lucky, seeds otherwise.
 

Lewood

New member
United States
In winter, if they're not being fed, robins will subsist on fruit and berries still hanging on branches from the fall. If the winter is mild enough for the ground to be bare, they'll look on the ground and under leaf litter for anything edible -- insects if they're lucky, seeds otherwise.
Thanks for the info. Now that the huge snow piles are melting our robins will be happier.
 

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