21 Facts about Robins

Hi there

Some interesting information about Robins

source: http://www.jacobijayne.co.uk/21-facts/

1. Juvenile robins have a brown rather than red breast; they grow the red feathers after their first moult.

2. British robins seldom move far from where they hatched, but many Finnish and Swedish robins migrate to the Mediterranean for the winter.

3. At the end of the Victorian era robin skins became popular adornments for ladies’ hats.

4. Until the early years of the 20th century the robin was usually known as the redbreast.

5. The robin is a member of the thrush family, so is related to the blackbird and the nightingale.

6. Both male and female robins hold their own territories in the winter, so both sexes sing the same winter song.

7. The robin was declared Britain’s National Bird on December 15th, 1960.

8. The first British postmen wore red coats, and gained the nickname of robin or redbreast.

9. Robins are short-lived: the record for longevity is held by a ringed bird that survived until it was over eight.

10. Ringing recoveries of British-ringed robins have shown that the most frequent cause of death is being killed by a cat.

11. Robins not infrequently sing at night, usually under artificial lights. They are often mistaken for nightingales.

12. Most pairs of robins will try and raise as many as three broods of chicks a year, but some mange as many as five.

13. There are scores of birds around the world with the name robin, but few are even distantly related to our bird.

14. Robins breed throughout the British Isles, and occur on almost all of our offshore islands.

15. Each robin has a unique breast pattern, and can (with difficulty) be recognised individually.

16. Robins are omnivorous, eating everything from fruit to spiders.

17. Many attempts have been made to introduce robins to America, Australia and New Zealand. All have failed.

18. Robins will invariably defend their territories from other robins, sometimes fighting to the death.

19. British robins will not enter standard nest boxes with round entrance holes, but they do like open-fronted boxes.

20. Given a choice of any food, most robins like mealworms best of all.

21. British robins are famous for their tameness, but this contrasts with their behaviour on the Continent, where they are shy and generally unapproachable.

Regards

Kathy and Dave

  • Blackbird - you missed the key fact which explains 21:

    22. The RSPB, with their nefarious allies the Wildlife Trusts and National Trust, have a secret programme which every year selects the most suitable robin chicks and trains them for special missions.

    These robins are released on Reserves and NT Gardens with just one purpose in life - to seek out any visitor carrying binoculars or camera.  Once the target is located these super-robins are utterly ruthless - they will sing to, buzz past and generally flaunt themselves at said visitors until they are sure they have been noticed and "papped". 

    Sadly, the robins weren't properly advised and failed to secure their image rights.  Thus in return for providing a guaranteed attraction at reserves and Gardens, and generating countless Christmas card sales, all they got is a handful of mealworms a day.

    As a result some escaped to go their own way - but unable to resist the lure of the spotlight they were trained for ,they cannot resist an artfully placed spade or watering can.

    And that explains 21.  ;-)    And also why they chase everything else away from centre stage!

    It must be true 'coz I made it up ..

  • In reply to fittmonk:

    very interesting backbird.

    very funny fittmonk, I love robins

    Hey farmer, farmer, put away the D.D.T now. Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, please!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to Janet:

    Hi Fittmonk

    LOL - feel free add to the list hehehe

    Yes, I can relate to what you have said about the status of Robins

    Robins are the 'British National Birds' so they are kings and queens of the birds world.

    You want to say 'me-lord' to them. {smile}

    Janet: Robins are little characters anyday {smile}

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave.

  • In reply to fittmonk:

    LOL Fittmonk!

    It says the main cause of death in robins is the cat. I read somewhere recently that it is infact other robins.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    I love these 21 fact posts! I can drop them casually into my conversation to impress people at dinner parties, in the manner of Bridget Jones saying "isn't it terrible about the situation in Chechnya?" at the book launch!

    Seriously though, I never knew all that about the humble robin - what an interesting little bird it is. 

  • In reply to spikey:

    Well done Blackbird - very interesting and enlightening.

    Excellent Fittmonk - very funny, make up another story please!

    Regards

    Kerry

     http://www.flickr.com/photos/kezmo6310/

  • In reply to fittmonk:

    fittmonk said:

    Blackbird - you missed the key fact which explains 21:

    22. The RSPB, with their nefarious allies the Wildlife Trusts and National Trust, have a secret programme which every year selects the most suitable robin chicks and trains them for special missions.

    These robins are released on Reserves and NT Gardens with just one purpose in life - to seek out any visitor carrying binoculars or camera.  Once the target is located these super-robins are utterly ruthless - they will sing to, buzz past and generally flaunt themselves at said visitors until they are sure they have been noticed and "papped". 

    I agree

    I remember on a trip to Minsmere being accompanied every where by a robin/robins, I suspect it was the same one, some sort of tour guide, I'm sure he was pretending to be different species of birds just to confuse us,  At one point I'm sure I heard him say "and this is my impression of a Bittern", we got so used to him being there we nearly dismissed a Black Redstart as just our Robin.

    I mananged to get some good video footage of a robin singing in the garden at the weekend with the new toy (camcorder), shame I can't upload it.

    "Feed the birds, tuppence a bag" Mary Poppins