Saturday, 21 December 2013


Today I have picked the ROBIN that we have in the UK for the Saturdays post as it is the bird that is traditionally on Christmas cards.  So let me wish all bloggers, those on facebook, and other friends who follow my blog a


ROBIN -  Erithacus rubecula - Length  13cm   The red breast of course makes identification easy but it can be told even in silhouette or in its blotchy brown juvenile plumage, by its plump shape, upright stance and habit of making abrupt movements.

Voice  Their 'tick tick' calls are distinctive especially when repeated quickly, like a clockwork toy being wound up. The melancholy warbling song is also easily remembered; 'dwiddle-oo, dwiddle eedee, dwiddle-oo, dwiddle'.  You will hear the Robin singing at the end of this post on a short video.



Nests  Builds a domed nest of leaves lined with roots and hairs. Nest is usually well concealed in ivy banks, at the base of trees and, occasionally, in garden sheds.
Eggs  5-6, white with reddish speckles, laid in April to June.
Incubation takes 12-15 days.  
May have up to 4 broods a year.

Juveniles are brown with much buff spotting, appearing very scaly. After moulting in August-October they look just like adults.

                                             Sexes are similar. 
They eat insects and small seeds.

Robins sing throughout the year because each bird, male or female, will occupy its own territory during the winter. In order to defend their winter territories, the females have to sing and display just like males do. In spring the females have to persuade the males to stop fighting them and start co-operating with them in the raising of a family. To do this, when they encroach into the males territory they behave like young birds begging for food, thus stimulating the males to feed them rather than fight them.
Migration  Northernmost birds will winter south of their summer range, from western Europe as far south as the Sahara while southern populations are largely resident.  Females disperse to find their own territories , a small percentage of British females winter abroad.  Large numbers of birds from northern Europe pass through Britain before continuing 'en route' to Iberia and north Africa.

Population numbers have recently increased in western Europe, perhaps helped by the run of mild winters. In the UK, the population increased by 42% between 1970 and 2005.

Population in Britain and Ireland  There are an estimated 5.9 million territories throughout Britain with a further 1.0-2.5 million in Ireland.

Where in Britain and Ireland   An abundant resident bird across Britain, except on the Shetland Isles.

 Territorial fights cause 10% of Robin’s deaths.  

Some robins in winter are shy and skulking and these ones come from the continent.  Will nest anywhere, so leave out your old kettles.
 Centuries ago when we had wild boar, Robins would stay close to them, picking up food, now they follow the digging gardener.  It is the best loved British bird – used on Christmas cards.   This started in Victorian times when postmen were called robins (red outfit) and often on a Christmas Card they would be shown on a letterbox. 

I hope you enjoyed this "Christmas" post. 
I will not be posting as many posts or posting comments over the Christmas period as I will be with my family.

The video can be accessed at

If there is a black space below, click it and the video will appear.

Thank you for visiting and to all of those people who left comments.


  1. I am fascinated. I would call the robin's red breast an ochre, or perhaps rust. All along I have had a very different picture in my head. They are still beautiful birds, but I have always imagined more of a 'fire-engine' red.

  2. Merry Christmas Margaret! Loved this post and all the robins- one of my favourite birds. Thanks for all your kind comments on my blog this year. Hope you have a lovely time with your family. CT x

  3. Beautiful pictures of the robin, Margaret.
    The video I find very beautiful.
    I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and above all a very healthy 2014.

  4. Margaret, your Robins is so cute! Wonderful post and info. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your weekend!

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  5. Such a little beauty! Such a wonderful and gorgeous series of photos!

  6. the Robin families around the globe are one of my favourites for sure. These are lovely photos Margaret

  7. Awe, they are all so wonderful, such lovelies ;)

  8. Hi Margaret!
    Wonderful shots and that first one is a great capture!
    I've been so busy since Thanksgiving that blogging and commenting have taken a backseat.
    Wanted to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!!
    'See you' in the New Year.

  9. Your Robin is so different from the ones we have here,but still very pretty. Merry Christmas.

  10. adorable little pear-shaped birds. but obviously feisty, too.

  11. Beautiful photos and a fascinating post, Margaret. Merry Christmas!

  12. Merry Christmas to you and your family plus safe and happy holidays! Was that thunder we hear in the video- your little Robin is sweet, they look so fragile but can't be to survive in the wild as they do...great series! Take care, til you are back then ;-)

  13. Wonderful phtos of this adorable bird. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!

  14. Hello Margaret!
    A beautiful bird. I admire your excellent photos.
    Margaret Merry Christmas.

  15. A lovely little friendly and bold bird. Great singers too.

  16. Lovely robin photos Margaret.

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas :)