20 June, 2010

Robin chicks

June is the season for cute baby birds in the garden - in this case a speckled, fluffy robin chick.









12 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Awww.

Now, there's a competiton for Constance's corgies. :)

Rick said...

It is practically mandatory to say 'Awwww.' (We've had fledgelings hopping around our garden lately, too.)

Are these a different breed from 'robin redbreast,' or is that only a characteristic of adults?

Meghan said...

Cuuuute!

Carla said...

Sweet, aren't they?

These are 'robin redbreast' chicks. The red breast is a characteristic of adults (both sexes). The young birds gradually develop the red breast from about three months old, so these will start to develop it towards the end of this summer. Robins are territorial all year, sometimes quite aggressively so, and the red breast is a signal that this is a potential rival and should be attacked. So not having the red breast is a sort of protective measure for the youngsters while they are growing up.

Rick said...

I hadn't seen Gabriele's comment before I wrote mine! :-)

The evolutionary aspect is fascinating, from the chicks not having the red breast to its role in territoriality. Like a flag, it identifies adults as targets, but also asserts a claim of ownership.

Carla said...

I moderated both comments together, so they appeared at the same time - coincidence that you both said the same!

Yes, the red breast acts rather like a flag.

Ian Wright said...

It might just be this individual chick, but the speckles seem to be more pronounced than on the robins around my neck of the woods.

My parents have a small pond in their back yard (AKA, The Place Where Koi Go To Die) that the local robins love. The robins figured out a long time ago that the family cat is an utterly hopeless hunter. They don't even bother dive-bombing the cat any more. She'll be in the back yard and the robins will fly right on down and start bathing. Drives her crazy.

Carla said...

Individuals do vary, and also the speckles seem to become less pronounced as the chicks get older.

Robins are pretty adept at figuring out when humans/pets/etc are really a threat and when they can be either safely ignored or followed around as a likely source of food. Very savvy little birds, or at least they give that impression.

Kathryn said...

I'm afraid that all I can say is 'Awwwwww!' ;-) Absolutely adorable.

Carla said...

Kathryn - well, as Rick said, it's practically compulsory :-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I have very similar photos that I took two weeks ago. I love birds...we had two male goldfinches at a feeder today.

Carla said...

Hello Sharon and welcome! Goldfinches are lovely birds.