Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
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Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Probably the UK's favourite bird, with its bright red breast it is familiar throughout the year and especially associated with Christmas. It was officially adopted as Britain's National Bird in 1960.

Just about everyone can probably recognise a Robin, whether they are an expert birder, or just a casual observer. They can be very inquisitive when the gardener is turning the soil; always on the lookout for a tasty treat, worms, spiders or other insects. A small bird, with a body length of about 14cm. (5”), and weigh about 18 g.

The sexes of adults are very similar, if not identical, and even the males will chase off females for encroaching on his territorry.
Both males and females are territorial and the red breast is fluffed out in display.
In order to defend their winter territories, the females have to sing and display just like the males.

In spring the females will 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.

The female builds a cup-shaped nest in a covered location such as an ivy-covered bank, bush, hedge or a hole in a tree. She then incubates the 4-6 eggs for 13-14 days. The young are fed by both parents.
The young birds fledge after two weeks and three broods may be raised in a good year.
Juveniles have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. After moulting in August-October they look just like adults.


  1. Very interesting post and nice images too.Reminded me of a poem I recited when I was II standard "Little Robin Red Breast":)

  2. Great info about the Robin. Here we have the American Robin, a much different looking bird, larger with a darker red color on the breast. They are solitary and we find them on the ground in moist spots looking for worms...they do quite well in Urban areas too. Great photos Keith! I recently got a few nice shots of an Amer.Robin.

  3. Enjoyed reading the info. Lovely birds and nice pics.

  4. Funny how Robins look most at home in the snow - viewing all those Christmas cards no doubt.
    Early Spring I watched a male feeding a female on the garden fence.
    Enjoyed the detailed description and the two lovely photos - especially the gaping beak as it deafens anyone close by. For such a little bird it really does have one of the loudest, and prettiest, songs.

  5. Very good information about your petite Robins which are totally difference in size and appearance from ours. I have not yet heard one of your robins voices, but the behaviour sounds a lot like our robins especially following gardeners around looking for upturned worms. Their fledglings are very demanding.

  6. NatureStop, thanks for your comment.

    Dixxie, thanks. They are quite different to look at, but seem to share similar characteristics.

    Les, thanks. I love little Robins. Always seem so bold for such small birds.

    Thanks John. They are great little singers aren’t they. I think the association with Christmas comes from the contrast of the red breast, and white snow. Could be wrong, but that’s what I reckon. :)

    Cheers Abe. I think Robins are great little characters; fearless and very inquisitive.

  7. cute birdies! lesson for today...now i know that this is UK's national bird, thanks Keith, i am always learning from your post,i am not surprised you now have many followers.

  8. lolit, thank you.
    And thank you for being one of the followers.

  9. I adore Robins, such huge character for such a small bird. And of course being chubby almost to the point of circular makes them very cute. Thanks for the information and lovely photos.

  10. Enjoyed your write up on Mr Robin Keith.
    Thanks for your comments on our Blog.

  11. Thanks for your comment Omi.
    They are great little characters.

    John, thank you. I may do a few more like this inbetween trips out.

  12. Thanks Emma. Great little characters these, and so inquisitive in the garden.