Yesterday afternoon I checked on the progress of one of the Eastern Yellow Robin nests. There were two small nestlings, perhaps three to four days old, with both parents in attendance.
The adults were feeding nearby, mainly along the grassed drainage line where recent rain has produced an abundance of insect food. Every few minutes the female would return, feed the nestlings, then sit. The male would then arrive, prompting the female to flutter its wings, whereupon the male would transfer its pickings for the female to feed to the youngsters.
I also witnessed the female removing a faecal sac from the nest. Many birds do this – the droppings produced by the nestlings are encased in a thin membrane, which allows them to be easily removed from the nest by the adults. This strategy improves nest sanitation, which in turn helps to increase the likelihood that nestlings will remain healthy. I’ve often seen robins and other small woodland birds do this and was pleased to capture a photograph of the behaviour.