Erithacus Rubecula

It is probably my favourite bird in the garden, the title of this article is its technical name, but you will know it better as the European Robin.

I have admired and watched this bird closely over the last year or so, as we came out of the pandemic and what strikes you is just how friendly and brave it is - always darting here and there and pausing to take stock.

This older bird sat on a wooden post looking around to see where the next meal might be.

Of course, the older birds tend to be a lot bigger in body size than the more spritely youngsters, especially in the colder months when they need all the feathers they can get.

The robin below looks almost round he has that much plumage.

Generally speaking, the Robin is around 12.5–14.0 cm in length and weighs in at a tiny 16–22 g - its wingspan is around 20–22 cm.

I have mentioned their apparent friendliness and they certainly are very inquisitive when it comes to searching for food. The robin in the image below landed right in front of me on a little rocky banking, paused looked right at me, listened, and then hopped along the hedgerows as if it was following me.

They seem to be equally as bold in the open fields as they are in the trees and bushes, the robin in the image below was certainly happy to land on the wooden pole and look at me, again always listening to what is going on in their surroundings.

Maybe this behaviour leads to such a high mortality rate in the first year of their lives, with a very high attrition rate, which does seem to reduce once they are that little bit more experienced.

At the other extreme, it has been recorded that one robin reached the age of 19, which really does seem quite incredible.

During the breeding season, the robin does like a song, I was fortunate enough to capture this individual giving it his best in the hopes of attracting a mate.

I'm not sure if he ever did, but it was not through a lack of trying.

The robin remains officially Britain's favourite bird, maybe for a combination of all the above, or maybe because it just looks fantastic and there are lots of them

Let's finish the piece with one more shot of a very contented individual basking in the winter sunshine, still with its head slightly cocked, just in case.


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