Erithacus rubecula

Everyone loves the bright-eyed Robin, officially Britain’s favourite bird.  Cheerfully looking out from Christmas cards and decorations, the Robin is also a good friend to the gardener – eating slugs, worms and insects all year round. 

The Robin is strongly territorial and will puff out its red breast and sing to assert its rights.  However, this bold character can become almost tame when fed regularly in the garden – particularly in very cold weather when a well-stocked bird table can be the key to its survival.

Description:  The Robin is, of course, immediately recognisable by its distinctive red breast.  Both sexes are alike, with a light brown back and greyish belly to complement the famous orange-red breast and face.  The red feathers grow after a young bird’s first moult.  The birds are about 13cm (5 ¾ in) long.  Male and female sing almost all year round to assert their territorial rights, with a warbling and chirping song.  This makes them one of the few birds which sing at Christmas time.

Nesting and breeding:The female Robin seeks out a mate by visiting his territory in mid winter.  She builds a nest from grass, twigs, moss and dead leaves in just about any place that gives shelter.  The breeding season is between March and June, and the female lays between 3 and 6 eggs which hatch after 13 or 14 days.  The eggs are blueish white, with red-brown blotches.  Usually Robins have two broods each year, though occasionally they will have three.     

Where to see them

  • You can see Robins all year round throughout the British Isles (except in Shetlands).  
  • They love gardens, and their natural habitat is woodland and hedgerows.  
  • What they eat

  • Robins love insects, larvae and earthworms, and also eat fruit and seeds.  
  • They prefer to eat from the ground or on bird tables, but will also join blue tits and other small birds to feed from hanging feeders.
  •  In cold weather, Robins need a good supply of food every day to survive, and suet products such as fat balls or pellets can provide a vital energy boost.
  • Recommended Farbrook Farm foods: Premium Softbill Mix, Dried Mealworms, Insect Suet Pellets, Fat Balls, Premium Wild Bird Food.
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