Sunday, 16 November 2014

Day 15 - Close encounters of the bird kind!

Hi all,

Had a great day today at the fantastic RSPB reserve, Fairburn Ings. I've lots of photos that I'll be using over the next few days. Sadly the nuthatch and the kingfisher didn't make an appearance for me. I've seen these wonderful birds there before but never been able to get good shots.

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
This really cheeky little chap did make an appearance though and got very close to me so I got great shots. At first he just hung around in the bush to the side of a board walk we were on, but then he came right up onto the handrail. Once I got some images I found a shortbread biscuit in my pocket to give it a few crumbs. I was really suprised when it almost ate out of my hand. I know Robins are often not that bothered by humans but i didn't think it would come so close for shortbread!

As you can see from these two shots he was really close and quite happy around us. I have had them come closer but for a tasty treat of a meal worm, not just a few crumbs. You can see below a one was eating out our hands.

Well now to my research. Here are some facts about robins:

  • Every continent has its own robins although only the Japanese and Ryukyu robins are closely related.
  • If you want to see a robin in your garden the best way to do so is to dig. Often within minutes one will sit on a fence or something ready to inspect the newly overturned soil for earthworms.
  • Male and Female robins look almost identical but a male's red forehead is a U shape and a female's is a V shape. Juveniles have no red breast and are dotted with golden-brown spots.
  • Robins are extremely territorial and don't tolerate some other species with similar diets like dunnocks.( For more info on dunnocks see my other post Yearofnature - dunnocks)
  • Nearly 3/4 of robins die before they are one year old! 10% of those robins die defending their territory.
Here are a few links to robin info sites:

Hope you enjoyed.



  1. Hiya Zach,

    i have just been over to New Zealand (for my sister's wedding). We saw lots of new Zealand Robins and I thought you might be interested in seeing a picture - they are slightly taller and have longer legs than our robin and look a bit odd without the familiar redbreast but still a very beautiful bird. Here's a link to a photo

  2. Hey Viv,

    Thanks great pick, they are still very pretty even without the red breast. Is South Island warm? it doesn't look as fluffed up as our robins and i wondered if that was because of the climate there.