Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
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Robins have a very varied diet and love beetles, spiders, other small insects, worms, berries, soft fruits and seeds. In cold weather conditions, food is vital to their survival as they can use 10% of their body weight in just one winter’s night. Bird tables can therefore improve chances of survival and the Robin’s favourite treats include mealworms and kitchen scraps like cakes, biscuits and even cheese!
The Robin is famous for, and easily recognised by, its distinctive red breast; you can spot them all year round in the British Isles. Their red breast is bordered by thin, brown-grey feathers and the wings and back of the Robin are light brown. Male and female Robins are identical, but the juveniles have light spotted brown plumage with no red.
Robins can be found in various habitats, including woodlands, parks and, much to our satisfaction, gardens. They are one of the earliest birds to nest, and their nests are commonly made from sticks, grass, moss and dead leaves. They are built in areas with lots of shelter and easy access, however, they are famous for nesting in all sorts of random locations including sheds, boats, hanging baskets, old boots and other mischievous places! The male will find the area for the nest and help to gather materials, and the female does the majority of the building work. Breeding season usually begins in March, but during mild winters Robins have been known to breed as early as January! They lay their pale blue speckled eggs in the morning, one per day, and a normal clutch size is between 4 and 6 eggs, which hatch after 13-14 days. Two broods a year are normally produced, although a pair may occasionally produce a third.