birding, birdwatching, British birds, courtship feeding in birds, robin, robin courtship feeding
I was seconds too slow to catch the actual moment Mr Robin presented his potential mate with this courtship gift, a gigantic Ivy berry. From what I’ve read, this behaviour may help to convince the female of the male’s suitability as a mate and, according to the RSPB website, the feeding continues through the nest building phase and while the female is laying her eggs, one a day for 4 to 6 days, helping the female maintain her body weight.
With the feeding I witnessed, I’m not sure whether the courtship was successful. The male had rather overestimated the size of the female’s mouth and, from the look on her face, she didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted. The moment the male flew away, she let the berry drop to the ground.
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