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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 February 2007, 07:16 GMT
Robin chicks hatch in flat wreath
The robin chicks
The wreath cannot be taken down until the chicks fledge
The survival of robin chicks who hatched months ahead of schedule in a Christmas wreath on the door of a London flat has amazed bird experts.

Robins normally pair up around Valentine's Day, but the chicks' parents built their nest over the festive holidays.

The mother laid her eggs in the door decoration at a flat in Roehampton at the start of the year.

Four of the five eggs hatched successfully on 23 January.

The chicks are expected to fly within days.

Farrah Stevens, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: "It's just incredible. We are a bit lost for words really.

I'm sure that the neighbours think I'm mad, standing there talking to the Christmas wreath
Julie Luckett

"We think the mild weather has encouraged them. In their heads they obviously thought: 'It's warm and there's food around for us'."

"Because it is somebody's front door they are probably getting a lot of heat - that could be why this nest has been successful."

Julie Luckett, who lives in the flat, added: "They've got their eyes open and they've got their wings.

"I'd love them to come back and see me. I'm like an adoptive parent.

"I'm sure that the neighbours think I'm mad, standing there talking to the Christmas wreath."

Bird protection laws mean that the wreath cannot be taken down until the chicks fledge or the nest fails.


SEE ALSO
Report backs centre over robins
10 Jun 04 |  Bristol/Somerset
Why robins sing in winter
10 Dec 02 |  Science/Nature

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