The robin is a small bright bird belonging to the thrush family. This bird also has a different name — robin, so it was nicknamed for its bright red color. The beautiful voice of the robin has been sung by many poets, because it is with the voice of this bird that we associate summer evenings.
Origin of the species and description
The common robin Erithacus rubecula belongs to the animal kingdom, the type of chordates, the order of passerine birds. This group is considered one of the largest in the world and will include about five thousand representatives. The robin belongs to the Muscicapidae family of thrush flycatchers. Birds of this species live in countries with a warm climate. They are migratory birds.
Representatives of this family are distinguished by the following features:
- all birds of this family are small in size. Adult birds are 10 to 30 cm in length;
- birds have a straight beak;
- wide, rounded wings;
- birds have a rather long straight tail;
- live in forests, bushes, parks.
The color of the robin bird is light and bright. On the chest and lower part of the muzzle, the feathers are bright red, behind and on the wings the bird is light gray with a greenish tint. On the belly of the bird, the feathers are light. On the throat, chest and sides, the plumage is red. Depending on the subspecies, the color of the bird may be brighter or darker. Robins of the northern subspecies are much larger and brighter in color than their southern counterparts. This species was first described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in his work entitled Motacilla rubecula.
Appearance and features
The robin is a very small bird, it is about 14 cm long. The weight of an adult is only 15 grams, the wingspan is from 17 to 20 cm.
pretty round. The robin has long, strong legs with which it very quickly jumps on the ground. It has a habit of stopping abruptly while moving and making several bows while sharply shaking its tail.
Males and juveniles are more brightly colored than females. Newborn birds of this species do not have a bright red spot on the breast, it is formed later. The head of the bird is small, the eyes are small black. The beak is straight. The bird has good eyesight and easily navigates at night in forest thickets.
Also, robins emit uneven beautiful trills, eventually turning into a quieter and less intelligible chirping. The song does not have any specific length. The song consists of gentle hissing sounds. The song is periodically interrupted by sharp pauses. Birds sing in the evening at dawn, which is why this bird got its name robin. The average life expectancy of robins is 1.5-2 years, but this is mostly due to the fact that so many young birds die early. Sometimes these birds can live up to 10 years in the wild.
Robins are migratory birds, they can travel long distances, but if bad weather catches the birds on the way, they can die. In warm regions, birds can be sedentary if the conditions suit them.
Where does the robin live?
Birds of this species live throughout Europe. They can be found from the Mediterranean to the middle part of Siberia. In our country, birds spend the winter in the mountainous regions of the Caucasus, on the shores of the Caspian and Black Seas. And also robins can be found in Uzbekistan, Tatarstan, Armenia, Georgia, in the vastness of Ukraine and Belarus. In addition, robins live in Africa, the Middle East. Often birds migrate to Spain, Great Britain and the western part of Europe. In northern Europe, robins settle in dense coniferous forests, which is unusual for this bird species. In Britain, Spain and Russia, these birds live in mixed forests, forest plantations, parks and gardens. It has been observed that British robins do not migrate, but remain wintering in their usual habitats.
In the 19th century, there were attempts to breed birds of this species in New Zealand and Australia, but in these countries the birds did not take root, and they had to be resettled in countries with a warmer and milder climate. Since the birds of this species are not afraid of humans, they can build nests near human dwellings. However, more often birds still try to settle in the forest. Robins build their nests on stumps, low trees, or even on the ground among thickets of grass or in bushes. Usually, birds do not like light coniferous forests, but prefer to settle in hazel thickets, but due to the fact that forests are being cut down more and more, they have to develop the neighborhood next to people. Robins return from wintering in early spring, as soon as the first leaves appear on the trees, they return to their nests and enliven the forest, filling it with their beautiful songs.
What does the robin eat?
Basic diet of this little bird they are different insects. Robin prefers:
- spiders and other arthropods;
- gnats and flies;
- worms, caterpillars;
- small butterflies.
Depending on the habitat of the bird, its diet can vary greatly. The thicker the forest where the bird lives and the more vegetation, the more food the robin will find. The bird hunts by moving from branch to branch or picking up food on the ground. Hunt both day and night. Often can catch small midges and beetles during the flight. In the summer, he likes to eat currant, elderberry, mountain ash berries. In autumn and winter, when food becomes scarce, robins go in search of various seeds and peck at fruits left on tree branches. It can fly up to water bodies and find food there. The robin is not afraid of water at all. Robins that remain to winter find food in feeders. If the bird is fed, it can settle near the house and can live like this all winter. In addition, if a robin has taken up residence in a garden, it will only benefit the garden as it will exterminate harmful insects.
An interesting fact: It is difficult for a robin to feed from a feeder, the bird is used to clinging to tree branches with its paws, so if you need to feed a robin, it is better to pour food on the ground.
Features of character and lifestyle
Robins return to their nests towards the end of April. They live in moist overgrown forests and plantings equip nests that they hide in the thick of bushes, stumps, deadwood. Birds make cup-shaped nests from grass, rootlets and bast. Soft material moss, wool and feathers are washed on the bottom. It is noticed that birds of this species very reverently guard their territory. Robins live alone, and meet with the opposite sex only during the nesting period. They do not allow other birds into their territory, males often fight with other birds, which is why they often die.
Fights also occur between male robins, up to 15% of birds die in them. Birds are absolutely not afraid of people, they can live near the house, in cold weather they can fly into the barn and into the attic. Robins sing their songs in the evening and at night. Their songs are a call to the opposite sex. Robins sing in pairs, females chirp to show they are ready to mate, males call to show they have a territory.
Fun fact: There are many more male robins than females, so many male even during the nesting period they live alone. Males left without a mate guard the territory and are not allowed to enter it. Although sometimes it occurs that one male can let another one in for the night. It also happens that males huddle in small flocks for the night, so they feel more secure.
Social structure and reproduction
Robins manage to lay eggs twice in one summer and raise chicks. The first time robins nest in May, the second time at the end of July.
Sometimes, if something happens to the chicks, the parents may try to raise the offspring in August. In mating games, the female takes the initiative. The female flies to the territory of the male, defiantly opens her wings to the sides and begins to sing.
The male, protecting the territory, begins to drive it away, making terrible frightening sounds. The male fluffs his wings, sways and shows that he does not want to see a stranger on his territory. After some time, the bird retreats hiding behind a tree or bushes. Then she comes back and starts to sing loudly. After 3-4 days, the male most often gives up.
The female builds a nest on her own, the size of the robin's nest is about 5 cm in height and 7 cm in width. She tries to hide the nest as best she can. At one time, the female produces 4-6 bluish eggs into the light. The female incubates the eggs for two weeks, practically without getting up from the clutch, the male takes care of food.
After hatching, the chicks are protected by their parents. The male brings food, and the female feeds the cubs. Moulting in chicks occurs once at the age of one and a half to two weeks. Delicate fluff is replaced by stiffer feathers, a red color appears on the breast and abdomen. At the age of two weeks, young chicks are already able to fly and begin to forage for their own food.
Natural enemies of robins
These small Birds in nature have a lot of enemies. These include:
These predators love to destroy the nests of robins in order to feast on eggs or young chicks. That is why there is such a high mortality rate among young birds. Adults, of course, try to guard their nests, but they also risk being eaten. Therefore, in extreme cases, they can simply fly away, thereby saving their own lives. If the bird lives near people, and she is used to being fed. In case of danger, she can turn to a person. These birds are easily tamed by feeding. Capable of living in captivity.
Interesting fact: Robins cannot stand extreme temperature fluctuations and cold and often die from bad weather conditions.
Population and species status
Despite the fact that the mortality of these birds is very high and they have a lot of enemies in the animal world, their population is huge. To date, the population size is from 139 to 320 million individuals worldwide. The number of these birds is extremely difficult to track because the birds are migratory and often migrate, and in nature they are numerous. The population of the species Erithacus rubecula today does not cause concern and does not need any special protection. If these birds are invisible, it is mainly because they are successfully camouflaged among the leaves of trees and shrubs.
It is in our power to make life easier for these birds, to make it easier for them to get their own food. It is necessary to equip green areas, parks and zoological gardens. Do not cut down forests and forest plantations without special need, trying to preserve the vegetative landscape. In winter, we can support the birds that have remained to winter in our region by feeding them, equipping birdhouses and birdhouses near the house and in parks.
Interesting fact: In the UK, robins are an unspoken symbol of this country, where these birds are protected and do their best to support their population. There, these birds are not at all afraid of people and can sit on people's shoulders and arms.
The robin is a very beautiful and sociable bird. It has long been believed in Russia that if this bird settled next to your home, then there will be peace and comfort in it. Take care of these wonderful birds, feed them and they will repay you with friendship and beautiful very beautiful songs.