Our number 1 Wildlife Trust Christmas card this year is once again the robin (big surprise!) and we noticed that our friends and suppliers of our bird feeders Jacobi Jayne have done an excellent “21 facts” section so we thought we would share the Robin one with you.
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.
Well we hope that you love Robins now as much as our other customers appear to; so if you fancy checking out this years Wildlife Trust Christmas cards just click here.