Robin losing feathers

Hi all,

We have a pair of robins in the back yard that are very friendly (they will sometimes eat out of our hand). They raised two successful chicks a few weeks ago and now have at least one more from their next brood (we saw the chick for the first time today!). The one we think is the female appears to be completely fine. The other, presumed male, has been getting scruffier and scruffier over the last couple of months however and has started lose a lot of feathers from his chest and under the wings. He also seems to be breathing more heavily than the female, but otherwise is still very active and seems generally OK. We initially thought it might just be from the nesting effort but the feathers continue to get worse and now we think it might be mites or some other problem.

Here are some photos to show you what I mean:

One month ago:


We're wondering if there's anything we can do to help. Given he's so tame we can probably spray him with something occasionally, or put something in his food, water or waterbath if that might help?

  • Hi Chris , this is a common sight at this time and a frequently asked question.
    Hazel replied to a similar question a couple of days ago.
    Here is the link:
    Hope that helps

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to Linda257:

    Thanks Linda257 and sorry I missed that question, I looked back a few pages but only in the question forum. Sounds like we just have to wait and hope it sorts itself out in due course... Many thanks!
  • In reply to ChrisNZ:

    Not a problem, people post questions in all different sections and sometimes get missed (because they are in wrong section lol). Yes its a waiting game am afraid..I have a few bedraggled birds in the garden myself some look worse than your robin.
    Hope you continue to enjoy watching them and their young.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • the smaller they are the more you feel sorry for them

    In time they will hopefully look their best again

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Oh dear indeed! I'm glad to hear it's somewhat normal and there's a chance they'll recover naturally though at least.