🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Farm Talk - Robin vs Wagtail

WELCOME to my Nature Blog! Here I will share my life on my little piece of African soil, an 8,5ha smallholding situated in Tarlton (Gauteng,South Africa). Join me in celebrating all Mother Nature has to offer. I believe every creature, large or small, every plant, rock, mountain, river, or sea that has come into being has the right to exist in its place, to be respected and to fulfil its role within the community of life. I respect Mother Earth in all her many forms and pledge to harm no thing and no one and to safeguard the fertility of the soils, the purity of water and air, and the health of natural communities inhabiting this planet.

Camera: Fuji FinePix 2800ZOOM

Up until the end of April 2003, we had lived on our smallholding (8,5ha) in Tarlton since 1975. Over the years, I had established a lush garden with numerous indigenous trees and various types of ivies, one of which covered the kitchen wall on the South side of the house and in which the Wagtails made their home. I also had a resident pair of Cape Robins, nesting in the ivy creeping up a dead tree trunk opposite the Wagtails. I dearly loved my Cape Robins, who would take mince out of my hands at the kitchen window, but I must inform you that they are utter terrorists as far as the Wagtails are concerned!

Over a period of 2 weeks, I watched in fascination as both the Robin and Wagtail parents fed their chicks. (After a long, careful search I located the Wagtail nest in the ivy on the kitchen wall – the Robins’ nest was much lower opposite them and more obvious). Both sets of parents scurried hurriedly for the available cache of insects and worms, with one hitch - the Robins would dive-bomb and chase the Wagtails at every opportunity – making it very difficult for the Wagtails to feed their chicks in peace.

Then, one morning, I heard the Wagtails’ panicky cries and to my utter horror, found the Robin plucking the Wagtail chicks from their nest, dropping them, bleeding and fatally injured. The gentler Wagtails could do nothing but scurry helplessly about. I tried to rescue the unfortunate Wagtail chicks, but to no avail – they were already dying.

The only conclusion I could come to was that the Robins regarded the kitchen window and my mince meals as their domain and begrudged the Wagtails being anywhere in the vicinity!


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