Ok, as of today we're in Week 3 of the Irish Garden Bird Survey - hopefully you've got a couple of weeks of the survey under your belt at this stage, but if not there's still time to take part!
Given the week that's in it, there was only bird that could be species of the week....
Species Profile: Robin
Conservation status: Green-listed in Ireland, with around 3 million pairs breeding here each summer.
Did You know?
- Though we are used to Robins that are quite confident and confiding around humans in the garden, that's only the case in Ireland and the UK. Elsewhere in Europe, Robins are often quite shy and are a true woodland bird.
- Robins are the only bird you're likely to hear singing all year round, and both males and females will sing outside the breeding season.
- When it comes to singing, Robins are usually one of the first species to start singing in the morning and one of the last ones to stop. Where there is artificial light from buildings and street lamps, they can be heard singing during the night.
- Robins have more than one brood per year, and in some cases the male can be feeding the first brood while the female is incubating the second clutch!
- Their latin name is Erithacus rubecula - meaning 'solitary little red one' - very apt!
- Their territoriality really does come down to them 'seeing red' - the red colour of other Robins is largely what triggers their aggression, and they've been known to attack objects like socks and handkerchiefs with a similar red colour during the breeding season. When Robin chicks fledge, they have a speckled brown appearance, but no red yet, which stops them getting into a fight when they wander into an adult's territory!
What do they feed on?
|Robin. Photo by D. Owens|
Movements and Migration:
We also get Robins from northern Europe; some moving through in autumn on their way further south in Europe, and others staying put for the winter.
Robins from Britain & Ireland caught elsewhere.
https://app.bto.org/ring/countyrec/resultsall/rec10990all.htm for full details
How can I help Robins?
You can find designs to build your own nestbox on the BirdWatch Ireland website here, or alternatively we sell a number of different types of nestboxes in our shop that are sure to suit your garden – see our selection here.
This year we also have the very popular singing Robin soft toy! They're soft and cuddly and play a Robin call when you squeeze them! Get them at our shop at the link below, while stocks last.
We have a variety of pin badges in our shop, including two christmas Robins - the suggested donation for a pin badge is €2 each, plus €1 p&p - or 3 for €5. We have pin badges of many different species (swans, owls, garden birds, ducks, seabirds etc!).
I hope you've learned something new about Robins through this species profile - if there's a species you'd like us to cover later in the winter please let us know on facebook or twitter!