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European Robin

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;Erithacus rubecula ;Erithacus rubecula
[[Image:Robin.jpg|thumb|550px|right|Photo by Nigel Kiteley]] [[Image:Robin.jpg|thumb|550px|right|Photo by Nigel Kiteley]]
-==Description== 
-The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) or, in Europe, simply Robin is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family, but is now considered to belong to the Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae). European Robins and similar small European species are often called chats. 
-It occurs all over Europe to Western Siberia, south to Algeria and on the Atlantic Ocean as far as the Azores and Madeira. In the south east, it reaches the Caucasus range. 
 +==Identification==
The European Robin is a common European songbird. It is 12.5 – 14.0 cm (5.0 – 5.5 inches) long and it is known for its pugnacious behaviour despite its small size. The distinctive red patch on the chest of both sexes led to its original name of redbreast. In the fifteenth century, when it became popular to give human names to familiar species, the bird came to be known as Robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin The European Robin is a common European songbird. It is 12.5 – 14.0 cm (5.0 – 5.5 inches) long and it is known for its pugnacious behaviour despite its small size. The distinctive red patch on the chest of both sexes led to its original name of redbreast. In the fifteenth century, when it became popular to give human names to familiar species, the bird came to be known as Robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin
- +==Distribution==
-Robins have a fluting, warbling song in the breeding season. Robins often sing into the evening, and sometimes into the night, leading some to confuse them with the Nightingale. Both males and females sing during the winter, when they hold separate territories, the song then sounding more plaintive than the summer version. The female Robins move a short distance from the summer nesting territory to a nearby territory that is more suitable for winter feeding. Male Robins keep the same territory throughout the year.+It occurs all over Europe to Western Siberia, south to Algeria and on the Atlantic Ocean as far as the Azores and Madeira. In the south east, it reaches the Caucasus range.<P>British Robins are largely resident but a small minority, usually female, migrate to southern Europe during winter and a few of these migrate as far as Spain.
- +
-Robins build a neat cup nest in crevices, holes or artificial sites such as discarded kettles. When juvenile birds fly from the nests they are mottled brown in colour all over and do not have a red breast. After 2 to 3 months out of the nest, the juvenile birds grow some reddish feathers under their chins and over a further 2 to 3 months this patch gradually extends to complete the adult appearance.+
- +
-The Robin is well known to British and Irish gardeners: it is relatively unafraid of humans and likes to come close when anyone is digging the soil, in order to look out for earthworms and other food freshly turned up; when the gardener stops for a break the robin might use the handle of the spade as a lookout point. Robins in continental Europe are more wary. Robins also approach large wild animals, such as wild boar and other animals which disturb the ground, to look for any food that might be brought to the surface.+
- +
-Male Robins are noted for their highly aggressive territorial behaviour. They will ruthlessly attack other males that stray into their territories, and have been observed attacking other small birds without apparent provocation. Such attacks sometimes lead to fatalities, an aspect of the birds' behaviour which is inconsistent with its wholesome, gentle public image.+
- +
-British Robins are largely resident but a small minority, usually female, migrate to southern Europe during winter and a few of these migrate 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 breast. 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 breast.
- +==Taxonomy==
-Because of high mortality in the first year of life, a Robin has an average life expectancy of 1.1 years; however, once past its first year it can expect to live longer and one Robin has been recorded as reaching the age of 12 years+The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) or, in Europe, simply Robin is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family, but is now considered to belong to the Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae). European Robins and similar small European species are often called chats.
- +
==Habitat== ==Habitat==
-Woodland of various kinds, usually deciduous or mixed but purely coniferous in some areas. Found in lower branches of trees and in bushes and shrubs, usually feeding on the ground. Common in parks and gardens, especially in Britain, also hedgerows and road verges but avoids most open spaces.+Woodland of various kinds, usually deciduous or mixed but purely coniferous in some areas. Found in lower branches of trees and in bushes and shrubs, usually feeding on the ground. Common in parks and gardens, especially in Britain, also hedgerows and road verges but avoids most open spaces.<P>
 +The Robin is well known to British and Irish gardeners: it is relatively unafraid of humans and likes to come close when anyone is digging the soil, in order to look out for earthworms and other food freshly turned up; when the gardener stops for a break the robin might use the handle of the spade as a lookout point. Robins in continental Europe are more wary. Robins also approach large wild animals, such as wild boar and other animals which disturb the ground, to look for any food that might be brought to the surface.
 +==Behaviour==
 +Male Robins are noted for their highly aggressive territorial behaviour. They will ruthlessly attack other males that stray into their territories, and have been observed attacking other small birds without apparent provocation. Such attacks sometimes lead to fatalities, an aspect of the birds' behaviour which is inconsistent with its wholesome, gentle public image.<P>
-==Breeding==+Robins have a fluting, warbling song in the breeding season. Robins often sing into the evening, and sometimes into the night, leading some to confuse them with the Nightingale. Both males and females sing during the winter, when they hold separate territories, the song then sounding more plaintive than the summer version. The female Robins move a short distance from the summer nesting territory to a nearby territory that is more suitable for winter feeding. Male Robins keep the same territory throughout the year.
-Domed nest of leaves in hedge or dense bush. Robins can use specialsed nest boxes and can nest anywhere including flower pots in garden sheds.+
-==Food==+Robins build a neat cup nest in crevices, holes or artificial sites such as discarded kettles. When juvenile birds fly from the nests they are mottled brown in colour all over and do not have a red breast. After 2 to 3 months out of the nest, the juvenile birds grow some reddish feathers under their chins and over a further 2 to 3 months this patch gradually extends to complete the adult appearance.
-Mostly on the ground after insect, berries and seeds. Comes to feeders and bird tables for seed mixtures.+
- +
-==Song/Voice==+
-Both males and females will sing all year at any time. The song is an attractive rich warbling. +
- +
-==When==+
-In Summer in North & East Europe. All year in South and West, residents joined by migratory birds in winter.+
- +
-==Identification==+
-Abundant and widespread in the British Isles, [[France]] and most of Iberia east to the foothills of the Urals. Found throughout Scandinavia except the higher mountains and far north, and in the south from southern Spain to Greece, northern Turkey and the Caucasus. Also breeds in the Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands, and patchily in northern parts of Morocco, Algeria and north-west Tunisia. Has bred in the Faroes. +
- +
-From central Europe northwards and eastwards mainly migratory, a partial migrant over much of remainder and resident in the south. Winter range more extensive occurring widely in southern Europe and southern Russia, Turkey and the Middle East, and North Africa. +
- +
-Vagrants recorded north to Iceland (has attempted breeding), Jan Mayen, Bear Island and Svalbard, also south to Mauritania. +
-Subspecies Several races occur in the Region differing in depth of colour above and on breast but field separation of most is rarely possible except sometimes in fresh plumage. British birds melophilus differ from nominate Continental birds in darker upperparts and deeper orange below. Races such as tataricus from the far east of the Region are notably greyer above than western European birds. E.r.superbus from Gran Canaria and Tenerife (but not the remaining Canary Islands where nominate occurs) is rather distinctive, pale eye-ring, deep red face and breast and white belly separated from dark grey brown upperparts by a broad silvery band. Recently proposed as a full species - the Tenerife Robin.  
==Bird Song== ==Bird Song==

Revision as of 17:56, 22 July 2007

Erithacus rubecula
Photo by Nigel Kiteley
Photo by Nigel Kiteley


Contents

Identification

The European Robin is a common European songbird. It is 12.5 – 14.0 cm (5.0 – 5.5 inches) long and it is known for its pugnacious behaviour despite its small size. The distinctive red patch on the chest of both sexes led to its original name of redbreast. In the fifteenth century, when it became popular to give human names to familiar species, the bird came to be known as Robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin

Distribution

It occurs all over Europe to Western Siberia, south to Algeria and on the Atlantic Ocean as far as the Azores and Madeira. 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 and a few of these migrate 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 breast.

Taxonomy

The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) or, in Europe, simply Robin is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family, but is now considered to belong to the Old World flycatchers (Muscicapidae). European Robins and similar small European species are often called chats.

Habitat

Woodland of various kinds, usually deciduous or mixed but purely coniferous in some areas. Found in lower branches of trees and in bushes and shrubs, usually feeding on the ground. Common in parks and gardens, especially in Britain, also hedgerows and road verges but avoids most open spaces.<P> The Robin is well known to British and Irish gardeners: it is relatively unafraid of humans and likes to come close when anyone is digging the soil, in order to look out for earthworms and other food freshly turned up; when the gardener stops for a break the robin might use the handle of the spade as a lookout point. Robins in continental Europe are more wary. Robins also approach large wild animals, such as wild boar and other animals which disturb the ground, to look for any food that might be brought to the surface.

Behaviour

Male Robins are noted for their highly aggressive territorial behaviour. They will ruthlessly attack other males that stray into their territories, and have been observed attacking other small birds without apparent provocation. Such attacks sometimes lead to fatalities, an aspect of the birds' behaviour which is inconsistent with its wholesome, gentle public image.<P>

Robins have a fluting, warbling song in the breeding season. Robins often sing into the evening, and sometimes into the night, leading some to confuse them with the Nightingale. Both males and females sing during the winter, when they hold separate territories, the song then sounding more plaintive than the summer version. The female Robins move a short distance from the summer nesting territory to a nearby territory that is more suitable for winter feeding. Male Robins keep the same territory throughout the year.

Robins build a neat cup nest in crevices, holes or artificial sites such as discarded kettles. When juvenile birds fly from the nests they are mottled brown in colour all over and do not have a red breast. After 2 to 3 months out of the nest, the juvenile birds grow some reddish feathers under their chins and over a further 2 to 3 months this patch gradually extends to complete the adult appearance.


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