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European Robin

From Opus

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(Diet. References updated)
 
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 +[[Image:Robin.jpg|thumb|550px|right|Photo by {{user|Nigel+Kiteley|Nigel Kiteley}}<br />Canncck chase, April 2007]]
;[[:Category:Erithacus|Erithacus]] rubecula ;[[:Category:Erithacus|Erithacus]] rubecula
-[[Image:Robin.jpg|thumb|550px|right|Photo by Nigel Kiteley]] 
- 
==Identification== ==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 +12.5 – 14.0 cm<br />
 +Thin brown bill<br />
 +Brown legs<br />
 +'''Adult''': Olive-brown above, orange-red face, throat and breast. Bluish-grey flanks and whitish belly.<br />
 +'''Juvenile''': speckled brown all over, it will be two to three months from fledging, before reddish feathers begin to appear under the chin.
 +[[Image:Juv RB 6660.jpg|thumb|250px|right|Juvenile<br />Photo by {{user|Mali|Mali}}<br />South [[Wales]], June 2008]]
 +====Similar Species====
 +Juvenile is very similar to other chats, particularly juvenile [[Common Nightingale]].
==Distribution== ==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.<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.+Widespread in [[Europe]] from western [[Siberia]], south to [[Algeria]] and as far as the [[Azores]] and [[Madeira]]. In the south east, it reaches the [[Caucasus]] range.<br />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]].
 + 
 +The females move a short distance from the summer nesting territory to a nearby territory that is more suitable for winter feeding. Males keep the same territory throughout the year.
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== ==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.+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.
 +====Subspecies====
 +[[Image:Pettirosso1.JPG|thumb|350px|right|Photo by {{user|ecavina|ecavina}}<br />S. Rossore, Pisa, [[Italy]], 1975]]
 +There are 8 subspecies<sup>[[#References|[1]]]</sup>:
 +*''E. r. melophilus'':
 +:*[[British Isles]] and [[Scandinavia]]
 +*''E. r. rubecula'':
 +:*Western [[Europe]], north-western [[Morocco]], [[Azores]], [[Madeira]] and western [[Canary Islands]]
 +*''E. r. superbus'':
 +:*Central Canary Islands ([[Tenerife]] and [[Gran Canaria]])
 +*''E. r. witherbyi'':
 +:*Southern [[Spain]], [[Corsica]], [[Sardinia]], north-eastern [[Morocco]], [[Algeria]] and [[Tunisia]]
 +*''E. r. balcanicus'':
 +:*Balkan Peninsula to western [[Turkey]]
 +*''E. r. valens'':
 +:*Crimean Peninsula
 +*''E. r. hyrcanus'':
 +:*South-eastern Transcaucasia to northern [[Iran]]
 +*''E. r. tataricus'':
 +:*Western [[Siberia]] (Ural Mountains to Semipalatinsk); winters to [[Iran]]
 + 
 +The central Canary Island subspecies ''E. rubecula superbus'' has been proposed for a split under the name of Tenerife Robin or maybe even Superb Robin; so far this split does not seem to be supported by any major authority.
-European Robin is subdivided into eight subspecies, of which the central Canary Island subspecies ''E. rubecula superbus'' have been proposed for a split under the name of Tenerife Robin or maybe even superb robin; so far this split does not seem to be supported by any major authority.  
==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, except maybe on migration. May enter buildings in very harsh weather.
- +
==Behaviour== ==Behaviour==
-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 highly territorial, and very aggressive for their size.
-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>+Very confiding and will approach close to man, certainly in the [[British Isles]]; Continental birds appear to be more wary. Robins will also approach large wild animals that disturb the ground, to look for any food that might be brought to the surface.
 +====Diet====
 +They have a varied diet, which includes seeds and insects. They readily visit bird tables.
 +====Flight====
 +Flight is rather 'flitting'. Flicks wings and tail when perched. Hops on ground.
 +====Breeding====
 +A tidy nest-cup is constructed in crevices, holes or artificial sites such as discarded kettles.
 +====Vocalisation====
 +'''Song''': flutey and thin, warbling song in the breeding season, often singing after dark, leading to confusion with [[Common Nightingale]]. Both sexes sing during the winter, when they hold separate territories, the song then rather more plaintive than the summer version. Will sing all the year.<br />
 +'''Call''': includes "tic", "tsip", and plaintive "tsee".
 +<flashmp3>Erithacus rubecula (song).mp3</flashmp3><br />
 +''[[Media:Erithacus rubecula (song).mp3|Listen in an external program]]''
-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.+==In Culture==
- +The red breast patch led to its original name of "redbreast". In the middle ages it was usual to give human names to familiar species, the bird came to be known as Robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin.
-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.+
- +
- +
-==Bird Song==+
-<flashmp3>Erithacus rubecula (song).mp3</flashmp3>+
-''[[Media:Erithacus rubecula (song).mp3|Listen in an external program]]''+
 +Folklore tells us that the Robin obtained his red breast because blood dripped onto him when removing a thorn from the head of Jesus.
 +==References==
 +#{{Ref-Clements6thAug13}}#Animal Pictures Archive
 +#Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
 +#Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
 +{{ref}}
==External Links== ==External Links==
{{GSearch|Erithacus+rubecula}} {{GSearch|Erithacus+rubecula}}
-[[Category:Birds]][[Category:Erithacus]]+<br />
 +{{Video|European_Robin}}
 +[[Category:Birds]][[Category:Erithacus]][[Category:Bird Songs]]

Current revision

Photo by Nigel KiteleyCanncck chase, April 2007
Photo by Nigel Kiteley
Canncck chase, April 2007
Erithacus rubecula

Contents

[edit] Identification

12.5 – 14.0 cm
Thin brown bill
Brown legs
Adult: Olive-brown above, orange-red face, throat and breast. Bluish-grey flanks and whitish belly.
Juvenile: speckled brown all over, it will be two to three months from fledging, before reddish feathers begin to appear under the chin.

JuvenilePhoto by MaliSouth Wales, June 2008
Juvenile
Photo by Mali
South Wales, June 2008

[edit] Similar Species

Juvenile is very similar to other chats, particularly juvenile Common Nightingale.

[edit] Distribution

Widespread in Europe from western Siberia, south to Algeria and 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.

The females move a short distance from the summer nesting territory to a nearby territory that is more suitable for winter feeding. Males keep the same territory throughout the year.

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.

[edit] Taxonomy

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.

[edit] Subspecies

Photo by ecavinaS. Rossore, Pisa, Italy, 1975
Photo by ecavina
S. Rossore, Pisa, Italy, 1975

There are 8 subspecies[1]:

  • E. r. melophilus:
  • E. r. rubecula:
  • E. r. superbus:
  • E. r. witherbyi:
  • E. r. balcanicus:
  • Balkan Peninsula to western Turkey
  • E. r. valens:
  • Crimean Peninsula
  • E. r. hyrcanus:
  • South-eastern Transcaucasia to northern Iran
  • E. r. tataricus:
  • Western Siberia (Ural Mountains to Semipalatinsk); winters to Iran

The central Canary Island subspecies E. rubecula superbus has been proposed for a split under the name of Tenerife Robin or maybe even Superb Robin; so far this split does not seem to be supported by any major authority.

[edit] 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, except maybe on migration. May enter buildings in very harsh weather.

[edit] Behaviour

Male Robins are highly territorial, and very aggressive for their size.

Very confiding and will approach close to man, certainly in the British Isles; Continental birds appear to be more wary. Robins will also approach large wild animals that disturb the ground, to look for any food that might be brought to the surface.

[edit] Diet

They have a varied diet, which includes seeds and insects. They readily visit bird tables.

[edit] Flight

Flight is rather 'flitting'. Flicks wings and tail when perched. Hops on ground.

[edit] Breeding

A tidy nest-cup is constructed in crevices, holes or artificial sites such as discarded kettles.

[edit] Vocalisation

Song: flutey and thin, warbling song in the breeding season, often singing after dark, leading to confusion with Common Nightingale. Both sexes sing during the winter, when they hold separate territories, the song then rather more plaintive than the summer version. Will sing all the year.
Call: includes "tic", "tsip", and plaintive "tsee".


Listen in an external program

[edit] In Culture

The red breast patch led to its original name of "redbreast". In the middle ages it was usual to give human names to familiar species, the bird came to be known as Robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin.

Folklore tells us that the Robin obtained his red breast because blood dripped onto him when removing a thorn from the head of Jesus.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Animal Pictures Archive
  3. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

[edit] External Links


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