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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Stephen vs Len

So, yes, that's my latest reading. One cool thing I learned, there are pale robins! they are rare and are not albinos. Incredibly striking. They are referred to as 'dilution pastel' and you can see some images here.

It is not an issue with calcium!

Anyway, the Moss book is good. Though worrying. He stresses how few robins make it through their first year and many die before they are two. However, he does also mention that some robins have made it to eight and even fourteen! That was not in England, but was the same species.

There are a few areas where he and Len Howard seem to be in disagreement. For example, there's a discrepancy about the number of clutches tits have. Moss says one per year, which is what Mischa told me and seems to be understood to be the case, but Len claims her tits had two or three! I wonder if this is due to the supply of insects and caterpillars. Maybe tits know they can't afford to raise more than one brood these days.

Moss suggests that only male robins sing early in the year, and during the start of the nesting season, while both sing late in the year as they have separate territories. He says that few female songbirds sing much, but I am sure Len mentioned that some of her female tits did... but I may be misremembering. Moss writes that males resume singing in late summer in order for the young robins to have an example. They have to learn the song from local robins and their father is the one closest to them. So it would suggest there may be patrilinaal songs and certainly dialects.

What I loved about Birds as Individuals was that in that book the birds truly are individuals. She knows them all. She spots their idiosyncrasies, sees their personalities.

Moss though can refer to woodland robins (generally more shy) and the robins who live inside the Eden Project. these robins have no predators and a plentiful supply of food. Moss explains that as a result they have developed a unique culture. They are far less territorial than garden robins and mixed groups of males and females live happily in close proximity.

Anyway, today I was blessed with a lot of Bobbit time. I filmed him for about 20 minutes - and I wasn't filming non-stop. Here's an edited selection.

And the following day... I just couldn't resist another video burst...

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Oct 20, 2023

Yes, the "diluted" robin is interesting. Apparently also different from "leucism". I wonder. Would have thought it was one of the types of leucism. Anyway ... no matter 🙂 ... Do robins overwinter "at home" ie stay in the UK?

Bobbit is a Sweetie!! Lovely vids. In the first- at one point there's a worm involved. And of course the squirrel working away at the nuts. The second video - shows beautifully the serious work involved with grooming. All fluffed up. 😃 ps You are getting lots of neat info/observations from your readin!

Oct 20, 2023
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Ah. Well then I wish you and the robins a good winter without intemperate weather x

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