The EUROPEAN ROBIN (Erithacus rebecula) is a small perching bird that can be found throughout many parts of Europe. It has an orange-red breast and face olive-brown wings and back and a white to light brown belly, You can sometimes see a blue-grey fringe around the bottom part of the robin's red breast patch. European robins have brown legs and their tal is bluntly square. They have large, black eyes and a small black bill.
They have a lovely warm, warble that consists of a melodic rippling of notes. Some say their song becomes more melancholy during autumn and winter than in spring and summer. Their call is a sharp, highly pitched 'twick' or 'tick' that can be repeated in a series of rapid outbursts. This call is used as a warning signal or as a proclamation of their territory. European robins are notoriously territorial and can be quite aggressive to fellow members of their species who are unwelcome within their claimed plot of earth.
Robins are shy birds throughout most of their range but in the British Isles, they have acquired tameness and are frequent, honoured guests in back yard gardens, and parks. Their feeding behaviour historically involved following foraging animals such as the wild boar as it dug through the soil. The robin would hop down to pick up any insects and grubs that were uncovered by the animals's digging. Now, robins have found gardeners to be as productive with their earth-turning as wild boars and robins are known to be not far behind a human digging in the garden.
Robins breed from April through August. Female robins construct a nest in a well-sheltered location such as a hedge or densely vegetated bank. Their nest is cup-shaped and is constructed out of leaves and grass. The female lays 4-6 eggs which require incubation for 13-14 days. After hatching, the young are ready to fledge in two weeks. As many as three broods may be raised in one year. European robins are not endangered or threatened and their populations are increasing in some parts of their range. Below is a clutch of eggs, the size of an egg and a young robin:
Robins are one of the only UK birds to be heard singing in the garden on Christmas Day. This is because they hold their territories all year round warning off intruders with song. Males may hold the same territory throughout their lives, and will even attack a bundle of red feathers or their own reflection if they mistake it for another individual. Their melodious voices, along with their cheeky attitudes, have endeared robin red breasts to the British public, and in 1960 they were crowned the UK's national bird. (When I mentioned this to Phil he said he thought it more a romantic notion than truth as the blackbird and thrush are always present in English gardens at Christmas time).
The characteristic image of a robin on a spade handle is a consequence of their territorial instinct. The male quite simply seeks a favourable lookout post!!
The robin occurs in Eurasia east to Western Siberia, south to Algeria and on the Atlantic islands as far west as the Azores. It is not found in Iceland. In the south east, it reaches the caucasus range. British robins are largely resident but a small minority, usually female, migrate to southern Europe during winter, a few as far as Spain. Scandinavian and Russian robins migrate to Britain and western Europe to escape the harsher winters. These migrants can be recognised by the greyer tone of the upper parts of their bodies and duller orange best. The European robin prefers spruce woods in northern Europe, contrasting with its preference for parks and gardens in the British Isles.
Attempts to introduce the European robin into Australia and New Zealand in the latter part of the 19th century were unsuccessful. Birds were released around Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin by various local Acclimatisation societies, with none becoming established. There were a similar outcome in North America as birds failed to establish after being released in Long Island, New York in 1852, Oregon in 1889-92 and the Saarich Peninsula in British Columbia in 1908-10.
The AMERICAN robin, also known as the Robin or Common Robin, is a migratory songbird of the thrush family, It is named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the flycatcher family The American robin is widely distributed throughout North America, wintering from southern Canada to central Mexican and along the Pacific coast. It is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin. It has seven subspecies. It is mostly active during the day and assembles in large flocks at night. Its diet consists of invertebrates, fruits and berries. It is not a threatened species and is listed as of Least Concern by the UICN.
There is a large variety of robins in Australia and I have decided to do a second post just showing different photos of them to give an idea of their diversity.