Robins (Erithacus rubecula) is a resident bird of the UK and can be found all year round. They are most often seen in the autumn and winter months while darting across the garden searching for food. You can often hear them singing from a prominent perch in an effort to warn other robins not to encroach on their territory. They also actively chase other birds away from their feeding grounds below bird tables and bird feeders.
The robin is a small bird with a length of around 14cm and wingspan of around 21cm. They have an orange-red throat, breast and forehead with light brown upperparts and grey-white underparts. Both the male and female robin look identical. Juvenile robins, on the other hand, have no red breast and instead have spotted brown upperparts and underparts. Their song is warbling and their call a short and sharp note.
Robins nest between April and June and can have up to three clutches during this time. The female robin lays one egg a day to a total of five or six eggs. Their nest is made of leaves, moss and other soft materials and are located in a hollow or dense vegetation such as a well-established ivy. You can also provide a nest box for robins in your garden. Hang an open-fronted nest box in a hidden location in dense vegetation like an ivy or other climbers.
A robin’s main diet consists of worms, spiders and other insects and will consume berries during the autumn months. They can often be seen following gardeners around as they turn over soil or dig holes to see what interesting food has been uncovered.
What can I feed robins?
The robin is a very common bird and can be easily encouraged into your garden. Their favourite food is dried mealworm which can be fed straight or soaked in a little water. Also, sunflower hearts and peanut granules are both firm favourites while both being high in energy and rich in oil. They are quite partial to suet pellets and raisins as well often being greedily consumed! You can also feed them seed mixes with ones designed for robins which will often contain most of these ingredients listed. Robins will mostly feed on the ground, so using a ground bird table or scattering food by hedgerows and vegetation is best.
It is best to feed robins all year round. They benefit from this extra food supply during the cold winter months when food is scarce and during the breeding season when they have more mouths to feed. They also know where to go for food when natural resources are in short supply.