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Robin on the chicken house


The robin here is a European robin (Erithacus rubecula). There are lots of other birds called robin redbreast in the world. Our own American one is a very different beastie, actually a breed of thrush with the charming designation Turdus migratorius.

Brits love they robins. It’s one of the few birds that stick around for the whole Winter. Hence they frequently feature on Christmas cards, which puzzled me mightily at first.

They’re cheeky little peckerheads, shaped like chickadees. Red breasted tennis balls. The classic picture is a robin on a spade handle, because they follow gardeners turning earth, looking for worms. I always know where Jack is in the garden, because our robing follows him around and yells at him.

We’re probably on our thirtieth robin by now, but we always have one and they all look the same to me when I chase them off the chickens’ food.

They are not shy. They’re fiercely territorial; they’ll fight to the death with other robins and take on much bigger birds. In fact, I strongly suspect if we could understand and speak robin, we’d find them the most horrible little assholes in the bird kingdom. But awwwwwww, aren’t they cute?

Uncle B took this picture in the garden today. It’s not his usual razor sharp focus because the little bastard was hopping around and wouldn’t pose.

Another day off work today. In fact, I doubt I’ll get in for the rest of the week. Tonight is the last night in the twenties, but it’s not much warmer tomorrow and the wind is going to double into the 40 mph range. Then Friday the wind dies down and heavy snow is forecast.

It’s the wind that’s the problem for us. It’s blowing hard from an unusual quarter, right across an enormous sheep field, picking up snow and landing it in our garden. Our central heating can’t handle it, so I’ve had to pile up in bed under the electric blanket.

I’m trying real hard to look sad about that..


Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: February 28, 2018, 10:30 pm

In Boston I always thought Blue Jays were the horrible assholes of the bird kingdom.

Lately they’ve shown up hereabouts in greater numbers.
Damned Yankees.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 28, 2018, 10:41 pm

Cardinals. Cardinals were always jerks.

Comment from Brother Cavil, Abbot of St. Costello-on-the-Hurlingbone
Time: February 28, 2018, 11:49 pm

Cardinals were my mom’s favorites. Seeing one is like her checking in, for me.

Geese, those can go get bent. Maybe I should get a box of Cheerios and a machete and supplement my larder, noisy bastards…

Comment from Janna
Time: March 1, 2018, 12:05 am

Do the chikkins get to play in the snow?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 1, 2018, 12:25 am

@janna Ain’t that a fiddle tune?

Wait for it……

Chicken in the bread pan pickin out snow….

Comment from drew458
Time: March 1, 2018, 1:14 am

While you’re having a late taste of winter, it’s gone full spring here in my northern state. After several weeks of warmer temps and lost of rain, the tulips are coming up. And it’s still February. More rain and possible snow in the forecast. So it ain’t over yet. No robins here yet, only the winter birds.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 1, 2018, 1:31 am

Blue Jays are assholes. They eat the other bird’s eggs. I had a dove lay a couple of eggs in a railing flower pot just opposite my door. I nursed those little eggs for 2 weeks.Then I saw a BJ in the pot and the eggs half eaten. Bastard!

Anyway, come Spring it will look like the Battle of Britain with all the birds defending their nests.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 1, 2018, 1:33 am

Oh, and what’s up with Brits and dicks? I see photos of all these dicks drawn in the snow and dick snowmen. It’s dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick….

Comment from xul’s fedora
Time: March 1, 2018, 2:10 am

Mockingbirds are even bigger assholes than Blue Jays. They’ll dive bomb anyone and anything. I even watched one go after a hawk (for at least 15 minutes!) that was perched a little too close to the MB’s nest.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 1, 2018, 3:15 am

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Now that’s a bird to watch out for. It’s the first bird I learned to recognize when I was a child.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 1, 2018, 9:56 am

Farmers complain bitterly about magpies. Beautiful birds, but apparently nasty to newborn lambs.

Janna, normal chickens probably enjoy playing in snow. My neurotic flock hasn’t come out in three days. Last night, I got worried enough to tiptoe out with some hot yogurt in milk. They devoured it, without getting off the perch.

Comment from M
Time: March 1, 2018, 1:56 pm

“Red breasted tennis balls.“ I love that line. Heh.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: March 1, 2018, 2:06 pm

Those birds have more brains than some of your “teachers”:

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 1, 2018, 5:14 pm

Could you make some sort of shelter for the little birds? The wind/snow/cold has to be brutal on them. Just putting a wood box out might block the wind for them.

Comment from gomovies
Time: March 28, 2018, 9:23 am

They’re fiercely territorial

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