Posing in Arundel, Connaught Water and Woodford
The robin was declared Britain’s National Bird on December 15th, 1960
Lifespan: Oldest known is 13 years, but usually a few years only
Habitat: Woodlands, parks and gardens
Range: Across Europe, east to Western Siberia and south to North Africa
Scientific name: Erithacus rubecula
The robin has a distinctive and beautiful sounding call. It will sing to proclaim territory and attract a mate and usually sings all year round, although it is quieter in late summer when it moults. Nearly three quarters of robins in Britain die before they are one year old, either caught by predators or unable to fend for themselves. Ten per cent of older robins die defending their territory.
In winter, the robin puffs up its plumage to insulate its body against cold winds.
Features of the robin include its distinctive red breast and face, grey under parts, brown head, wings and tail. Their flight is distinguishable by rapid wing beats for short, fast flight.
Each robin has a unique breast pattern, and can (with difficulty) be recognised individually.
British robins are famous for their tameness, but this contrasts with their behaviour on the Continent, where they are shy and generally unapproachable.
(Epping Forest – Oct 2017)