The robin is a little shy bird. Of a greedy temperament and confident, he easily approaches the gardener who spades or a table having left a few crumbs of bread. To attract it all year round in your garden, you will need to bring together several conditions favorable to its reception. 5 tips, tricks and tips.
Why attract the robin to your garden?
The redbreast (Erithacus rubecula) is a small bird of the family of passerines which measures 12 to 14 cm and weighs about twenty grams. It owes its name to the red-orange plumage that adorns its chest and neck. In France, the bird is rather sedentary and therefore remains winter on its territory which it defends ardently. If he does not disdain red fruits, he will not devastate your garden because he is first and foremost an insectivore. As such, he proves to be a precious friend of the gardener who finds in him a good predator of harmful. The robin is indeed very fond of slugs, snails, ants, caterpillars, centipedes, spiders, woodlice, earwigs and larvae (beetles, worms).
1 – Install a feeder for the robin
If it finds something to stock up on in your garden, the robin will quickly become your friend. To serve it, you can choose a stand, suspended or attached to a pole. Not very agile, the bird will land more easily on a type feeder platform. It is advisable to place the equipment:
- In a place little frequented of your garden;
- Over 1.5 meters in height;
- Near a tree or shrub where it can perch to locate it;
- In a place sheltered from severe weather (rain, wind);
- In an open area facilitating escape in case of danger.
Tip: a robin eats mainly on the ground, therefore, if there are no cats roaming the area, you can place the food directly on your patio or on the lawn.
2 – Provide food for the robin
While exhausting themselves to seek their sustenance, many young robins die during their first winter and nearly 70% of the species do not live beyond 3 years (while their longevity is 15 years). This is why it is important to give them a boost by cold season when their food resources are scarce (from the end of November until the beginning of spring). It is not recommended to feed the bird in summer because it adopts a diet insectivorous. Not only are the chicks exclusively fed on animal prey which provides them with the protein essential for their growth, but they must also learn to feed themselves to guarantee their survival. In winter – and for lack of anything better – the sparrow turns to a more vegetarian. Thus, you can distribute to him:
- Of fat balls because they represent a rich source of carbohydrates and lipids necessary to withstand hostile temperatures;
- Food special robin, commercially available as a mixture (small seeds, dried fruits, insects such as mealworms, shrimps, etc.)
- Of seeds which the bird loves like the sunflower or the poppy. You can also offer him broken nuts, hazelnuts, oatmeal and unsalted peanuts. Namely: the seeds must be shelled because the robin does not know how to remove the envelope.
Tip: don’t forget to offer him water, summer and winter. Many birds prefer to drink from the ground. In this case, place the drinker near a shrub or a wall (about 2 m away) so that the robin can easily get out of range of danger if necessary.
3 – Place a nesting box for the robin
Pairs are formed at the beginning of the year, so you will need to provide a nesting box which will generally be occupied around March / April. Note that the bird prefers starters wide, or even completely open. Then it will be a question of treating theimplantation by installing the nest box:
- In a place calm ;
- At a height of between 1.50 m and 3 m;
- Safe from prevailing winds (to promote its flight)
- Against a tree or a wall (and not on a branch);
- With the entrance facing south or south-east.
Tip: larch or red cedar birdhouses blend nicely with nature and are rot-proof. Be sure to choose wood that has not undergone any treatment in order to offer your tenants a healthy living environment.
4 – Keep the robin in his garden
The robin is very loyal to its territory, especially when the weather conditions are harsh. If your arrangements suit him, he will come back every year. Of precautions are however to be taken to promote its return to the nest box that you will have made for it:
- Think of tilt its shelter very slightly forward in order to limit infiltration and damage linked to bad weather;
- Clean his lodging once a year to prevent the risk of diseases (presence of fungi or parasites). Tip: clean between September and October so as not to disturb the nesting or prevent its access during the winter period;
- The robin does not share its nesting box with any congeners. If you want to accommodate several birds, be sure to space out shelters (at least 4 meters) to avoid conflicts.
5 – Provide a welcoming environment for the robin
Robin is undemanding and approaches any green space with a hedge or small shrub. In the same way, it generally perches on all supports: fence, post, windowsill, balcony railing … plantations, know that the bird likes to settle in trees and bushes (cherry, hazel, dogwood) and fruit trees (apple tree, pear tree, quince tree …). Favor plants in which it will find its food: yews, junipers, rowan trees, cotoneaster, hawthorns, sloe, mulberry, raspberry, elderberry …) and varieties producing seeds like charcoal, poppy or oats. The robin is not shy and does not hesitate to hunt on the ground and build its nest on the ground, which makes it vulnerable to predators. If you have a cat, make sure to install the equipment (feeder and nesting box) in a place inaccessible to the feline. If a robin has taken up residence in your garden, it is because you have met all the conditions conducive to its development: a site secured and abundant food.