Indian Robin – Birds in Surat

The Indian robin is sexually dimorphic in plumage, with the male being mainly black with a white shoulder patch or stripe whose visible extent can vary with posture. The northern populations have the upper plumage brownish, while the southern populations are black above. The males have chestnut undertail coverts and these are visible as the bird usually holds the 6–8 cm long tail raised upright. The females are brownish above, have no white shoulder stripe and are greyish below, with the vent a paler shade of chestnut than the males. Birds of the northern populations are larger than those from southern India or Sri Lanka. Juvenile birds are much like females, but the throat is mottled

Indian Robin in Surat

Often seen in the branches of trees or green areas chirping similar to sparrows but distinctly loud and consistently musical sound. They are dark in colour slightly larger than sparrow and identified by their tail which is kept upright.

In my observation of these birds over the last two years, I have seen them grow from around 2-4 birds to now nearly over 15 in number. Couple of months back the Corona Pandemic led lockdown all-over the city. During that time one couple found an old scooter that was not moved. They built their nest in the front storage compartment. Which was dark and cosy so suited them. They used to daily cross over the compound wall and come over to the other side. They would catch some insects or worms in the open ground and fly over to the compound fall. Then see left and right for any danger and rush into the nest. Both the male and female worked in tandem. When was on the wall, other would fly to catch some food in the ground. And as the other went up. The next one went out. It was so coordinated effort. And they did so for an hour or so in the evening and early mornings. As their chick grew big enough they would make sounds asking for more food. Within two weeks they were able to hop over the nest and fly into the bushes.

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