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Are Bluebirds Bullied By Robins?

Are Bluebirds Bullied By Robins?

Bluebirds and robins fall in the Turdidae family of birds. The two birds are so close that they behave like cousins. But the two don’t see each other eye to eye.  Robins are shy when they see people but will want to harass and attack the bluebirds and other birds when they encroach on their territory.

When the robins see the bluebirds, they become bossy and will try to bully them. They do it even more when there are mealworms around. Robins will spend most of their time hunting for worms in the garden or around the compound.

Robins will do anything to protect their territory. They will fight other birds that try to encroach. The male species will wade off other males who try to get into the territory. Read on to understand the bullying behavior of robins.

Will Robins Try To Be Territorial And Chase Away Other Birds?

Robins are territorial birds and will defend their territory from inversion no matter what. If they are mated pairs, they will rigorously defend the territory.

Typically, the robins will occupy a small garden depending on the number of birds around them. Also, they will choose a territory that provides proper shelter and has excellent nesting sites. But they also consider the availability of water and food as vital.

Notice that both the male and the female robins will hold different territories. But the female will always move closer to their male counterpart when it becomes difficult to get food in winter. Also, such boundaries are flexible and will mostly depend on the availability of shelter and food.

Robins have a bright plumage that people think is breast. However, the plumage helps them defend their territory. When another robin finds its way into the territory, they instantly get recognized since it features unique colors. It will then get attacked until it leaves the territory.

This behavior explains why 10% of adult robins are killed by their counterparts every year. Generally, Robins are unpredictable. They can coexist with other birds for some time and attack them in the next minutes. But when happy, the bird will sing melodies when looking for a mate and announce to the rest that it is in its territory. They will be the first birds to wake up and sing and be the last to sing after dusk.

After it gets a partner, they will remain in the territory until they have had 2 to 3 clutches. But the female will always return to her territory as soon as the offspring fledges.

Of course, robins will defend their territory until they lose their life. Most of them do not make it past the one year and one month mark.

How Do Bluebirds And Robins Relate

Although bluebirds and robins are cousins, they do not relate well. The Robins will always try to bully the bluebirds as they try to compete over worms. They will intimidate the bluebirds and steal their worms.

Do Robins Attack Other Birds?

 Robins will allow other birds like the chickadees to feed on mealworms but will quickly chase the bluebirds the moment they spot them eating worms. The robins are scared of the bluebirds, so they would rather intimidate them into staying away than allowing them to come close.

But when the bluebird is not around, the robin will turn and bully the chickadees and harass Grackle. The birds consider themselves kings. They are tough and will move around eating mealworms and insects. Besides, they do not like cats and squirrels closer to their nests. They will attack and chase them away. Also, they will hold onto their territory throughout. It is vociferous and will protect the territory no matter what. 

Surprisingly they are at ease with human beings and will hang out with the gardener as they eye the worms in the soil. Gardeners love them too and will not hesitate to look at them again and again.

Do Robins Have Enemies?

Although robins will bully and fight bluebirds, it faces a host of threats from predators. The bird is innocent and good-looking, but it faces a myriad of threats. The crows and the blue jay are their main predators. They waylay and eat the birds during the nesting period. Also, other birds such as owls, shrikes, hawks, waxwings, and mockingbirds feed on robins.

Furthermore, animals such as dogs, cats, raccoons, and reptiles like snakes get delighted when they get an opportunity to either eat the bird or its eggs.

Why Don’t Robins Bully Chickadees

Robins can allow chickadees to feed on worms around them but will not allow bluebirds to get closer. This is because the birds know that chickadees are not as intimidating. As such, they have learned to accommodate them. Also, chickadees are not easygoing. When attacked, they fight back. This is not what the bluebirds will do. The bluebirds are gentle, so when attacked, they opt to fly away rather than resist. 

In addition, the bluebirds respect the robin and recognize it as the king. So, they will easily fly away when they are under attack.

Bullying is not just prevalent in the school, but it is common in offices, social places, and homes. Birds, too, exhibit tendencies. Some bird species are natural bullies and will not waste time when an intruder is in their territory. They bully birds of the same species when protecting their territory or other species when competing for food. For example, the robin gets its worms from the garden, so it will not allow other birds to eat its food. It will bully and engage in a fierce fight to protect the territory. They are more aggressive towards their male counterparts that try to encroach on their part.  They will also fight other bird species when they feel that they are encroaching.


If you have a garden or backyard, you are likely to attract several feeder birds. If the place is rich in worms, you are likely to attract the robin. It is a tiny bird that will create a territory in the backyard if there is water and worms. The bird will then identify an appropriate site in the backyard where it can nest. The male robin will mark the territory and will be ready to fight any other bird that encroaches. For example, they will fight the bluebird or any other male that tries to interfere with the territory.