Interspecfic feeding of nestlings is a well-documented phenomenon in
birds. It has been suggested that the instinct to feed is so strong that
it achieves a momentum that continues even when the reason for it has been
removed. Adult avians who have lost their young through nest predation,
storms, etc., will sometimes "adopt" nestlings of another species and feed
them. The most bizaare example was of a cardinal in North Carolina that
was observed over a period of several days feeding beaksful of worms to a
carp in a garden pool - the carp was used to being hand fed and perhaps the
cardinal, approaching the pool for a drink, found the carp's gape similar
enough to that of the gape of a nestling to trigger the feeding response.
Catherine Fisher, Lee NH
On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 2:45 PM Migration Productions <semiplover...>
> Soheil is correct, the summer of 2014 I photographed and recorded video of
> a Common Tern on Plymouth Beach that would "babysit" and feed two Skimmer
> chicks over a 3-4 week period including when they fledged. The adult
> Skimmers would not allow any other birds on Plymouth Beach near their young
> except this one adult Common Tern.
> The adult Skimmers would go off in search of food and the tern would stay
> behind and look after the young skimmers. When the adult skimmers returned
> the Common Tern would fly off and bring back a small fish for the young
> I wrote it up for Bird Observer the following year and have it on my web
> site, see this link.
> https://migrationproductions.com/skimmer-plymouth-beach-2014/ >
> On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 10:59 AM, Soheil Zendeh <sohzendeh...>
>> A couple of years back Shawn Carey photographed a juvenile black skimmer
>> being fed by one (or more?) adult common terns.
>> It’s kinda sweet to think that among a lot of creatures taking care of
>> the young — any young — comes naturally.
>> Soheil Zendeh
>> > On Jul 11, 2018, at 10:02 AM, Linda Pivacek <lpivacek...>
>> > Thanks for the report, Sean. I have seen similar behavior. There was a
>> House Finch nest in a basket hanging on our porch. Close by there was a
>> House Sparrow nest in a neighbor's roof gutter, but it was knocked down and
>> eggs/young destroyed during construction. So the male House Sparrow took
>> over feeding the House Finch nestlings. And also aggressively fought the
>> House Finches off whenever they approached the nest! At least in your case
>> you have a easy going Robins rather than a tough male House Sparrow.
>> > Best, Linda
>> > Linda Pivacek, Nahant
>> > <lpivacel...>
>> >> On July 11, 2018 at 6:33 AM sean riley <newburyowls...> wrote:
>> >> So there is a Cedar Waxwing nest in the Belle Isle parking lot being
>> cared for by Cedar Waxwings, and a pair of Robins. The Cedars sit there
>> seemingly perplexed as the Robin broods and feeds the chicks, then when the
>> Robin leaves the Cedars do the same thing... feeding , brooding.
>> >> Very strange, a bit sad and comical all at the same time. The young
>> Cedars are very well fed though. Has anyone else seen this before ?
>> >> -sean riley
>> >> Plum island
>> >> <Newburyowls...>
>> >> Sent from my iPhone