This friendly  bird has become an icon of winter, and can be seen almost anywhere in the UK that has some shrubs or bushes for cover.

In the garden, the resident robin will soon arrive if there is food available, whether worms and insects from gardening activity or bird feed put out for small birds. They tend to perch nearby and then dive in to grab a beak-full before returning to their perch.

I find that robins love suet balls and some learn to hang off feeders just like blue tits.

They are pugnacious in defending their territory and sing throughout the winter whenever it is warm enough. In the spring and summer evenings , a bird singing near a streetlight will usually be a robin!

The singing announces that they are there and ready to fight!

Both sexes defend a winter territory and many foreign robins do arrive as migrants overwinter. The foreign robins are slightly different being paler, but also much less approachable. I have seen them drive off blackbirds from feeders.

Although there are some 5 million robins in the UK population, they are as threatened as rarer species by the changing climate and you should always put out food and water for garden birds especially during frosty weather.

If you want to see your robins more often and enjoy the sight of their speckly brown youngsters being fed by their parents then put up an open fronted nest box, available from garden centres, in a quiet part of the garden with good cover.

When you walk around the Fold nature trails, then listen out for their song and wait. Usually the robin will come to look at you and see whether you have brought food with you!

Have a Good Christmas with lots of Robins


Keith Falconer