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All About The Robin

March 9, 2021

The Nation's Favourite 

During the 1960s Britain adopted the robin as its favourite bird, although it was never officially confirmed. In 2015 there was another survey to find Britain’s favourite national bird, with the robin once again taking 1st place. This incentivised organisers to request the government officially recognise the robin as Britain's national bird.


Robin's Appearance 

Male and female robins are virtually identical in appearance with a brown crown, wings, upper parts and tail, a grey band along the sides of the breast, a white belly and of course the famous "red breast".  The younger birds have no red in their plumage and have spotty brown coloured feathers.

Have you noticed a robin’s red-breast is actually orange? The bird was named before the English language had a word for the colour ‘orange’. Many things that were really orange were called red instead even though we did have the word for ‘orange’ as in the fruit. The colour orange was not named as a colour in English until the 16th century.

Robin's Temperament 

Despite it's cheerful nature the robin is quite an aggressive and territorial  species. Males sometimes fight to the death to defend their adopted  boundaries. Unlike many other birds, robins remain on their own during Autumn and Winter and will sing to proclaim their territory. What resonates as  a cheerful winter song to us is actually a warning to ward of other Robins coming too close!


Why Do We Associate Robins With Christmas?

The Robin is synonymous with Christmas - its attractive plumage and friendly, inquisitive nature has endeared itself to generations.

Christmas cards first sent in the mid-18th century were delivered by postmen wearing bright red coats. These postmen were nicknamed "Robins" or "Redbreasts" with the popular early cards of the era displaying the robins who characterised them.

Another bygone folklore comes from the legend that the Robin got his redbreast when pierced by a thorn from Christ’s crown as he hung from the cross. From there it is said Christs blood created the robins' red breast.


Breeding Season

Robins breed from March - August. They build a cup-shaped nest made from grass and leaves at times lined with hair. With natural shelters being diminished, nest boxes will help to support the next generations survive and thrive in your garden.

Robins are found in most gardens and will happily feed alongside gardeners as they work. Some will even take live food such as worms from the hand. In the harsher winter months they will become even more confiding as they become vulnerable due to food shortages caused by ice, snow and diminished natural food sources. You can support your local robins by feeding them our Robin & Songbird No Mess Seed Mix, Suets and Dried Mealworms.

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  1. My robin has been a constant companion and given me such joy over this difficult year. Unfortunately it’s my blackbird that has ousted him in the feeding stakes and who feeds from my hand!!