Irish Garden Birds - Robin red breast.

October 02, 2014

 

THE ROBIN

(Erithacus rubecula - Spideog)

The popularity of robins has a lot to do with their tameness and the way they follow people around, particularly gardeners. It's interesting that robins are distributed all over Europe, plus a bit of Siberia and north Africa, but it's only in Britain and Ireland that they display this behaviour. The Robin is about 3 inches high, a greyish bird with a red breast.
They are fiercely territorial and given to brawling, their fights quite often end up in injury or even death. They prefer to eat insects, spiders and other invertebrates. In winter they will switch to seeds, berries or food put out on bird tables. Because of their antisocial nature they don't like sharing space on the bird table with other robins or even other robin-sized species of birds.


They nest usually in a hollow in a wall or bank, but it may be on the ground. Robins frequently nest in unusual places. A pair nested on a bookshelf in Cavan County Hospital. Both parents feed the young. The babies become independent about three weeks after leaving the nest. Its red bib and width of grey feathers allows mates to judge age and gender. When a baby robin leaves the nest for the first time, it has a brownish breast. In the coming weeks, it partially moults and the replacement feathers give it its first red glow.
The Robin may live up to two years. If you are lucky enough to have one in your garden. Please try to get to know him. They are quite partial to oats!




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