Recently we have had the cutest robin visiting our garden – it waits very close to the outside door at around 7.30am every morning (but starts singing much earlier), and if I am working in the garden it is always perched close by – it really is a very tame.
Here are some facts about this very cheery garden bird
- The robin was voted Britain’s national bird in 2015 – the decision was made after a long correspondence in the Times Newspaper
- If a robin comes to your garden many believe that it is a sign that relatives are around
- Robins can recognise you by your movements, schedule and other signals possibly including your face – they recognise humans as part of remembering patterns such as where and when food is available
- Both the male and female of the species look the same, the cheering bird sings all year round – this is thought to be a way of maintaining territories ready for the breeding season, robins don’t tend to migrate, and if they do it is very early in Autumn
- Robins are fearless and will often follow you while you dig to catch the juiciest worm or insects
- At this time of year, robins have just one aim – to survive until the Spring breeding time
- In the colder months it is key that Robins obtain energy, so the following feed is ideal – sunflower hearts, balls of fat or bird cake, and mealworms are a real treat, they will also eat cheese and raisins and every day eat between a quarter and a third of their body weight
- Feeders for robins should be placed on or near to the ground
- Mark a patch of soil that you can turn over regularly to give a robin fresh access to lots of worms and other bugs as well as loosening soil to dig themselves
- In the darker months, put up a nest-box – robins need open-fronted boxes that are hidden away behind foliage or climbing plants so that they don’t attract the attention of cats. Robin’s nest boxes are best placed with the entrance hole facing north east so that it is sheltered from the prevailing wind and rain – avoid obvious sun traps such as south facing walls , the box should be placed within the cover of a climber or overhanging vegetation – nest boxes are best put up in Autumn
- Robins became the bird of Christmas largely because of Victorian Postmen who wore red tunics and were known as robin redbreasts.
- Robins began to appear on Christmas cards and other festive missives as a symbol of the red breasted messenger
- Seeing a robin is said to bring good luck – making a wish on a robin can increase your fortune. The robin is seen as a reminder of Christmas and good times.
So as we approach the winter months and Christmas, keep a look out for these cheery birds, as one of England’s natural treasures, they are definitely worth protecting.
David Phillip Estate Agents, 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds, t: 01134 676 400 w: davidphillip.co.uk