...the only greenery is a plane tree on the other side of the road. By regularly putting out food she has managed to support a few birds, including a robin. I may get more birds in 10 minutes than she gets in a day but she might well get more pleasure..
and I think that may be true, you can get a bit blase when you are surrounded by birds and take them a bit for grounded. Perhaps that is why birders are often more excited by a patch tick than something rarer elsewhere.
A Cardiff University study has shown that artificial light affects the amount of food consumed by European robins, this was compared with the amount of food consumed by birds in natural light.
The study showed that artificially lit birds have different activity schedules to those in natural conditions and have the ability to regulate their body masses differently.
Alexandra Pollard a researcher at the Cardiff School of Biosciences (who undertook the research) said:
We have found that robins under artificial lighting conditions begin their daily activity far earlier than when under natural unlit conditions.
However, even though they are active for longer and have food available overnight, they lose a similar amount of body mass to unlit robins - something we did not expect to find.
We thought that if food was freely available the robins would consume as much as possible, to maximise their energy reserves, but they gradually consumed their freely available food over their longer activity period than those under natural conditions.