Earlier this year, the BBC ran a poll to find out the nation’s best loved bird. More than 200,000 people took part and asked to vote on their favourite bird. The Blackbird and Barn Owl scored highly, but the Robin scooped the number one prize!
Celebrity vet Matt Brash explores why the Robin continues to capture our hearts as a nation:
1. Christmas card pin-ups
The first Christmas cards were sent during the Victorian times. They were delivered by postmen with red tunics to pledge their allegiance to the Crown, who became known as Robin Redbreasts. The nickname, along with the practice of sending Christmas cards has stuck to this day!
2. They are easy to identify
Thanks to their trademark red breast, they are probably one of the easiest birds to identify, making them a popular bird with children.
3. Gardeners’ friends
On a cold winter’s day in the garden, the robin will often keep gardeners company as they dig over the soil, looking for tasty worms to be uncovered.
4. They are romantic
Well, romantic for a bird! Breeding pairs stick together as a couple, until the chicks are ready to fly the nest. Plus, during nesting season, the males make a special effort in their courting, providing as much as a third of the female’s food.
5. They are wonderful singers
Make sure you pay attention next time you hear these lovely birds and pay attention to their chirpy winter song, it really is quite magical! Have a listen now by clicking on the middle button
6. We have loved them for centuries
The first recorded sighting of a robin was in the Anglo-Saxon times when they were referred to as ‘Ruddock’.
7. Home is where the heart is
We love our homes and so do robins. They are very territorial and will have their own area or ‘home’ that other robins are not allowed to go into.
8. They build nests in amusing places
Robins are well known for building their nests in the most unlikely places, from wellington boots, teapots, abandoned cars and even tool boxes.