European robins have a lovely warm, warble that consists of a melodic rippling of notes. In autumn and winter, some say their song becomes more mournful and melancholy than it is in spring and summer. Their call is a sharp, highly pitched 'twick' or 'tick' that can be repeated in a series of rapid outbursts. This call is used as a warning signal or as a proclamation of their territory. European robins are notoriously territorial and can be quite aggressive to fellow members of their species who are unwelcome within their claimed plot of earth.
Robins are shy birds throughout most of their range but in the British Isles, they have acquired a charming tameness and are frequent, honored guests in back yard gardens, and parks. Their feeding behavior historically involved following foraging animals such as the wild boar as it dug through the soil. The robin would hop down to pick up any insects and grubs that were uncovered by the animals digging. Now, robins have found gardeners to be as productive with their earth-turning as wild boars and robins are known to be not far behind a human digging in the garden.
Robins breed from April through August. Female robins construct a nest in a well-sheltered location such as a hedge or densely vegetated bank. Their nest is cup-shaped and is constructed out of leaves and grass. The female lays 4-6 eggs which require incubation for 13-14 days. After hatching, the young are ready to fledge in two weeks. As many as three broods may be raised in one year. European robins are not endangered or threatened and their populations are increasing in some parts of their range.
- Mass: 16-22g (0.6-0.8oz)
- Diet: spiders, insects, seeds, and berries
- Mating Season: April–August
- Number of Offspring: 4-6 eggs, 2 broods
Where to See:
- Burnie D, Wilson DE. 2001. Animal. London: Dorling Kindersley. 624 p.
- Fawkes R. 1999. Pygoscelis adeliae, Animal Diversity Web. November 21, 2005.