Another Hungry Mouth To Feed.

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them”.
[Matthew Chapter 6 – Verse 26.]

It was a beautiful day today here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary; after weeks of rain which confined most of us, during off duty hours, to our livingroom armchairs.

Today, in bright sunshine, local residents got their first opportunity, in months, to catch up on work required in neglected gardens. From all directions, today, came the drone of petrol lawn mowers and the scraping of stone against spade heads.

Roly’ the Robin with at least one member of his family hidden in overgrown wall ivy.
Pic: G. Willoughby [600mm Lens used to ensure no disturbance of nest site].

‘Roly’ my friendly Robin, joined me, much to the anger of numerous wiggly worms, latter who sadly met their “Waterloo”; having been disturbed with the help of my spade and fork; to be quickly consumed by ‘Roly’s’ wife and family.

It is estimated that there are over 2 million breeding pairs of Robins within the Republic of Ireland any one year. Nest are usually well-concealed, in ivy or a cavity in a tree; in a wall, or an open-fronted nest-box and often close to ground level. Some species find the most unusual locations, such as a discarded teapot; a hat, or in the torn pocket of an overcoat, latter long since abandoned in a garden shed.

Despite appearing to be friendly and inhibited, Robins are in fact very territorial birds and will viciously attack other Robins that appear in their territory. Males will verbally abuse each other, before their high pitched debate escalates into a physical fight, which can result in serious injury or even death.

Robins eat a wide variety of foodstuff, including worms, invertebrates, ripe fruit, mealworms, seeds and suet and are a regular visitor to any furnished bird table.

Today, I am reminded again that in my home, as a boy and to my families delight, two Robins regularly joined us at the dinner table. Believe it or not, one bird often ate mashed potato from my uncles outstretched tongue, while sitting perched on his nose, so great was the trust.


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