From the photo gallery...
Happy Birthday Tawhiti!
11 November 2009
Now that you have meet the human team, I will introduce some of the black robins – they are the reason we are here, after all. Today, we begin with the birthday boy (we just looked him up in the register and he is two years old today!) Tawhiti is well-known to Melanie.
Tawhiti - isn't he cute!
Cash the man in black!
Tawhiti has faced his share of tragedy. Last season, as a first year breeder, he and his girl Asha lost their eggs, one after the other. How? No one knows – although it is common for predators, such as tui or shining cuckoo to take only what they can carry from a nest then come back for more days later.
This year, Tawhiti’s Mum died, leaving the robin in black all alone. But Tawhiti and Asha are still neighbours to his old Dad and they are making up for last season. They have built a new nest not far from where Tawhiti was born, about ten metres away in a twisted old akeake stump. And they already have mouths to feed – three little black-tufted chicks.
A family of three means lots of work for the pair to collect enough food – most robins only have two – so we always throw them a few extra mealworms, just to help out. In fact, just this morning when I passed Tawhiti ducked into the nest to feed his babies, and flew out with a poo-sack – nice one, Dad!