Sydney Henderson, Communications Officer for RSPB England, tells us why robins and Christmas go together ...

This year the first-ever robin migration was tracked, as a tiny nanotag allowed researchers to follow a heroic 140-mile journey across the North Sea. And what better time to reflect on the small-but-mighty robin, than Christmas time. But why are robins associated with Christmas? And just how far back does the tradition go?  

 Robins are not the only bird visible at Christmas time and can be spotted all year round. Perhaps we feel a special kinship for them, as other species abandon us for warmer climates in the cold winter months (I’m looking at you swallow). Their cheerful song is the soundtrack to many a wintery morning – although to burst that charming bubble, this cheerful piping tune is actually a male robin’s aggressive claim to territory.    

It may be suspected that these reasons, alongside the festive red colouration, have led to the robin being featured on Christmas cards and decorations across the land. But the real reason goes back decades…  

In the 1900s, Victorian postmen wore red uniforms, as a proud link to the British flag, earning them the nickname ‘robin redbreast’. As Christmas drew near people all over England eagerly awaited cards from loved ones, delivered by their local ‘robin’. The small bird’s fate was sealed, as artists began illustrating Christmas cards with the birds delivering festive letters and cards, and they quickly became a Christmas icon.  

Another story goes as far back as 2000 years ago, where rumour has it, a small brown bird fanned the flames of a fire to keep the baby Jesus warm. Embers from the fire scorched its tiny chest, leaving it red-breasted forevermore (and probably rather pleased to have been involved).  

These plump gardener’s friends are a wonderful accompaniment to an English Christmas, and there is no wonder why the robin has been crowned Britain’s National Bird. Why not look out for them this January, and take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 



  • As a marketer, I appreciate this comprehensive review of semrush alternatives. These platforms offer a fresh perspective on SEO and digital marketing, helping us achieve better results and stay ahead of the competition.

  • Robin birds, also known as European robins or robin redbreasts (Erithacus rubecula), are small, plump passerine birds that are native to Europe. They are known for their distinctive red-orange breast and face, which contrast beautifully with their gray-brown back and wings. The robin's appearance has made it a beloved and recognizable bird species.

    Robins are prevalent throughout the year in many regions and can be found in various habitats such as woodlands, gardens, parks, and hedgerows. While they are commonly associated with Christmas in certain cultures, it's important to note that robins are not exclusive to the holiday season. They are present all year round and are known for their melodious song, which can often be heard during the winter months.

    These birds are renowned for their territorial behavior, especially the males who defend their nesting sites vigorously. The male robin's song serves as a vocal declaration of ownership and acts as a warning to other males to stay away from their territory.

    In addition to their association with Christmas cards and decorations, robins hold significance in folklore and literature. They have been depicted as symbols of good luck, joy, and renewal in various cultures. Their appearance in gardens and their willingness to come close to humans has earned them a special place in many people's hearts.

  • Great blog !! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned.

  • I love making research about birds. kindy check out my research about Animal Science Project Topics and materials