How to attract robins to your garden? 5 tips, tricks, and tips
The robin is a bird not very shy. Of a greedy and confident temperament, it approaches easily the gardener who spades or a table that has left a few crumbs of bread. To attract it all year long in your garden, you will have to gather several conditions favorable to its reception. 5 advice, tips, and tricks.
Why attract robins to your garden?
The robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a small bird of the passerine family that 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 thus remains in winter on its territory which it defends ardently.
If it does not disdain the red fruits, it will not devastate your garden because it is primarily an insectivore. As such, it proves to be a precious friend of the gardener who finds in it a good predator of pests. The robin is very fond of slugs, snails, ants, caterpillars, millipedes, spiders, sowbugs, earwigs, and larvae (beetles, worms).
1 – Install a robin feeder
If he finds food in your garden, the robin will quickly become your friend. To serve it, you can choose a free-standing, hanging, or pole-mounted feeder. The bird is not very agile and will be easier to rest on a platform-type feeder. It is advisable to place the equipment :
In a little frequented area of your garden ;
Above 1.5 meters in height ;
Near a tree or shrub where it can perch to make its location;
In a place sheltered from bad weather (rain, wind);
In an open area that facilitates escape in case of danger.
Tip: a robin eats mainly on the ground, therefore, if no cat is prowling around, you can put the food directly on your terrace or on the lawn.
2 – Providing robins with food
Many young robins die during their first winter by exhausting themselves in their search for food, 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 helping hand during the cold season when their food resources become scarce (from the end of November to early spring).
It is not advisable to feed the bird in summer because it adopts an insectivorous diet. Not only are the chicks fed exclusively with animal prey that provides them with the proteins they need to grow, but they must also learn to feed themselves to ensure their survival. In winter – and for lack of anything better – the sparrow turns to a more vegetarian diet. Thus, you can give him :
Fat balls because they represent a rich source of carbohydrates and lipids necessary to resist the hostile temperatures;
Special robin food, commercially available as a mixture (small seeds, dried fruits, insects such as mealworms, shrimps…).
Seeds that the bird loves like sunflowers or poppies. You can also offer him broken nuts, hazelnuts, oat flakes and unsalted peanuts. Namely: the seeds must be peeled because robins cannot remove the husk.
Tip: Don’t forget to offer him water, summer and winter. Many birds prefer to drink from the ground. In this case, place the watering trough near a shrub or wall (about 2 m away) so that the robin can easily get out of reach of danger if necessary.
3 – Place a nesting box for the robin
The couples are formed at the beginning of the year, it will thus be necessary to envisage a nesting box which will be generally occupied towards March/April. Note that the bird prefers wide entrances, even completely open. Then, it will be a question of taking care of the implantation by installing the nesting box:
In a quiet place;
At a height between 1.50 m and 3 m ;
Away from the prevailing winds (to promote its flight).
Against a tree or a wall (not on a branch) ;
With the entrance facing south or southeast.
Tip: Larch or red cedar nesting boxes blend beautifully with nature and are rot-proof. Make sure you choose untreated wood in order to offer your tenants a healthy living environment.
4 -Fidelize the robin to his garden
The robin is very loyal to its territory, especially when the weather conditions are harsh. If your accommodations suit it, it will come back every year. However, precautions must be taken to encourage its return to the nesting box you have made for it:
Remember to tilt the shelter forward very slightly to limit infiltration and damage caused by bad weather;
Clean its shelter once a year to prevent the risks of diseases (presence of mushrooms or parasites). Tip:
Clean between September and October to avoid disturbing the nesting or preventing its access during the winter period;
Robins do not share their nesting box with any other species. If you wish to accommodate several birds, make sure to space the shelters (at least 4 meters apart) to avoid conflicts.
5 – Offer a welcoming environment to the robin
The robin is undemanding and approaches any green space with a hedge or small shrub. In the same way, it generally perches on any support: fence, post, window sill, balcony railing… For plantations, know that the bird likes to settle in trees and bushes (cherry, hazelnut, dogwood) and fruit trees (apple, pear, quince …).
Favor plants in which it will find its food: yews, junipers, rowan, cottonwoods, hawthorns, blackthorns, mulberries, raspberries, elderberries …) and varieties producing seeds such as 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 making it vulnerable to predators. If you own a cat, make sure to install the equipment (feeder and nest box) in a place inaccessible to the cat. If a robin has taken up residence in your garden, it is because you have created all the conditions conducive to its development: a secure site and abundant food.
You can Also read those articles about Birds: