The juvenile Robins around the college grounds are now independent of the adult males and have finally started to make brief appearances. There are three sets of which I am aware. There are two siblings currently sharing a small shrubbery. They occasionally bicker over food and join forces when the adult female Blackbird shows up to steal their mealies. It seems rather odd to see them together. I imagine this situation might change once they get their adult plumage and start to get territorial. However, the fact that they are sharing a territory is not the most interesting fact. They are about two months old and yet one of them has no tail growth at all. All very intriguing. If this continues to be the case, I hope this particular Robin beats the odds and survives its first year. It will be interesting to see if adult tail feathers come though during the annual moult.
First, the one with the full tail
Full set of feathers
Oops! Where's your tail?
Showing off my tail!
You don't need a tail to pose for photos
Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos
(One bush does not shelter two Robins)
Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)
2013 photos & vids here
eff37 on Flickr
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
In reply to monkeycheese:
Last Friday I managed to get a short clip of the tailless Robin and its sibling having a territorial dispute. The lack of tail didn't hamper his abilities.
I should add that just before I filmed this, the pair of them were claw to claw in mid-air. I have seen adult Robins chasing one another in disputes, but this was the most violent confrontation I have seen. Interesting that this instinct is there and acted upon, even before they get their adult plumage.
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