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Facts on the Little Robin Redbreast

wikimedia (public domain worldwide)

wikimedia (public domain worldwide)

The Little Redbreast

The little robin redbreast is commonly known as the European robin and the scientific term is Erithacus rubecula. The little robin redbreast of Europe is not to be confused with the American robin (Turdus migratorius) of North America, although they both belong to the thrush family and are songbirds, they are not in close relation with each other. The robin redbreast of Europe is regarded as the national bird of Great Britain, despite the controversy between the wren and the robin although the wren is the most commonest bird of England.

The robin birds are considered to be tame and are not intimidated easily by living close to people. They joyfully come into newly dug gardens to search for worms, even if people are nearby. However, they are particularly bashful birds especially those inhabiting in rural areas of Europe where they are more wary. The robins pair up in the beginning of January when the male robin will sing aloud, and will protect his territory. Both male and female robins are identical and the male, unable to notice whether an intruder is male or female, behave aggressively in an instant.

wikimedia (public domain worldwide)

wikimedia (public domain worldwide)

Only the female robin will persist in her approach until the two finally make a tie, and other males will battle for the territory or maybe retreat. It is not until the weather improves that the female robin begins to build a nest using grass, dead leaves, hair and moss, and using the crevices in hollows or trees or sometimes inside sheds, barns or garages. So at this point the male robin begins to feed the female robin and will continue to do so while she incubates the eggs. The incubation is between 12-15 days, and the clutch usually contains three or nine, with one being laid daily. The female robin loses feathers (plumage) from her breast and the blood vessels enlarge to allow extra or further heat transference to the eggs. After hatching, the young chicks leave the nest after another two weeks time.

Most people can easily identify the European robins mainly of their vibrant orange-red breast and also the face. Their crown, tail and back is brown with white undersides, the uppers parts may appear olive-brown. The plump bird's throat and cheeks have grey edgings and with a white belly. The little plump bird's size is 13-14 centimeters in length, has a wingspan of 20-26 centimeters and weighs around 16-20 grams on average. Their voices are rather charming, and it is high-pitched with a warbling song and 'tick-tick-tick' calls can be heard. The warbling sounds are rather like 'twiddle-oo' or twiddle-ee', but this song of theirs is not always heard, it really depends on the habitat and region. When flying in the air, the robin's red and white undersides are clearly visible.

Robin Singing

Their diet consists of worms, insects, spiders, berries and seeds. Robins are known to have a tendency for sweet stuff and they love to eat fruit cakes in gardens. The European robin's habitat is widespread throughout Europe. The birds also inhabit in the Azores, Canary Islands, North Africa and Mid-Asia. They dwell around woodlands, gardens, parks, hedgerows and heaths. Finally, apart from the American robin, there is another similar specie to the European robin which is called the red-breasted fly catcher (Ficedula parva). On this similar bird the red markings on the face are absent compared to the European robin.


Zia Uddin (author) from UK on January 06, 2013:

Thank you both for leaving your comments, really appreciate. I remember the nursery rhyme of the little robin redbreast at school, such a joyous songbird.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on January 06, 2013:

This is such a lovely bird. I've read a couple of hubs on it and am quite impressed with it.

Tracy from Massachusetts on January 05, 2013:

Great Hub! I love to read about animals! In fact I rehabilitate wildlife, and though I live in America and have rehabbed tons of American Robins, I would love to see this Robin!

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