Space rocket Order by 2pm for Next Day Delivery*
Star Free Delivery Over £25.00*
Tractor icon Suet Products Made On Our Farm
More Birds arrow


Key Information

Scientific Name: Erithacus rubecula

Bird Family: Old World flycatchers

UK Breeding Population: 6,700,000 territories

UK Conservation Status: Green

When it comes to iconic birds in the United Kingdom, few can rival the captivating charm of the robin. Known for their vibrant red breasts and sweet melodic songs, UK robins have captured the hearts of nature enthusiasts and the general public alike, so much so that it was voted the Nation's Favourite Bird.

What do robins look like?

UK robins are small birds, measuring around 12 to 14cm in length and weighing approximately 16 to 22 grams. Their most distinctive feature is their red-orange breast, which contrasts sharply with their brownish-grey upperparts. Females and juveniles have a paler, more washed-out appearance than adult males' bright red plumage. Additionally, they have a white eye ring and a thin black bill.

Do female robins have a red breast?

Female robins do have a red breast, but it tends to be paler and less vibrant than their male counterparts. The reddish-orange patch on a female's breast is usually more subdued; in some cases, it may even appear more brownish or mottled. This colouration difference helps distinguish between male and female robins, with the males typically exhibiting a brighter and more pronounced red breast.

What do robins eat?

Robins are omnivorous birds, meaning they have a varied diet, including plants, seeds and insects. Out in nature, insects form a significant portion of a robin's diet. This includes beetles, caterpillars, worms, spiders, and various types they find on the ground or in vegetation. They are known for their distinctive "head cocking" motion, which they use to locate insects in the soil. In the autumn and winter, when insects may be scarce, robins turn to fruits and berries for sustenance. They have a particular affinity for berries like holly, yew, and ivy.

What to feed robins?

Robins are known to frequently use bird feeders, mainly when they are consistently replenished and a reliable food source. Here is a selection of bird foods that are great for feeding and attracting robins.

Are robins ground-feeding birds?

Yes, robins are considered ground-feeding birds. They are well-known for their habit of foraging for food on the ground, often in areas with short grass, leaf litter, or garden beds. When feeding robins in the garden, they'll be most comfortable using bird tables, ground feeders, and hanging bird feeders with large perches. Here are some feeders that robins love to use.

Where do robin nests?

Robins are known for their adaptability when it comes to choosing nesting sites. While they typically prefer concealed spots like ivy, shrubs, or open-fronted nest boxes, they are remarkably flexible and have been known to nest in a variety of locations, including hanging baskets, sheds, and even inside garages.

What nest box to use for robins?

Robins prefer nest boxes with an open-fronted entrance and carefully concealed within vegetation. Open-fronted nest boxes should be positioned at a low height, no higher than 2 meters. Below are some great choices of nest boxes for robins.

When do robins nest?

The nesting season for robins begins in early March when the males begin to establish territories and engage in courtship behaviour. These displays often involve singing, fluffing up their plumage, and offering food to the female. Once a pair is formed, they work together to select a suitable nesting site.

Once a pair has established, the female robin takes primary responsibility for building the nest. She gathers materials such as twigs, leaves, moss, grass and arranges them into a cup-shaped nest.  

When do robins lay eggs?

Egg laying for robins can occur from mid-April to mid-August. On average, the female lays 4 to 6 eggs. The eggs are typically pale blue or greenish and may be speckled. The female incubates the eggs, which means she sits on them to keep them warm. Incubation usually lasts about 13-15 days, during which the male may bring food to the female.

Once the eggs hatch, both parents take turns feeding the chicks and keeping them warm. The chicks are born blind and featherless, and they rely entirely on their parents for food and warmth.

When do robins fledge?

Round 2 weeks after hatching, robins will develop enough feathers and are ready to leave the nest. This period is known as fledging. The young robins may continue to be fed by their parents for a short time after leaving the nest.

Are robins territorial?

Robins are territorial birds, especially during the nesting season. They vigorously defend their chosen nesting area against other robins or potential threats. This behaviour ensures they have ample access to food resources for their chicks.

How long do robins live?

The average lifespan of a robin in the wild is around 1 to 2 years. However, this figure is influenced by various factors, including high mortality rates in the first year of life. 60% of young robins do not survive to adulthood due to predation, harsh weather conditions, and other natural challenges.

Robins that manage to survive their first year tend to have a higher chance of reaching adulthood, and their life expectancy increases. In favourable conditions, some UK robins have been known to live for several years. The oldest recorded wild robin in the UK lived to be over 11 years.

Where do robins go in the summer?

While most robins won't even venture beyond a 5km radius throughout the year, there are those who choose to migrate to sunnier destinations before winter sets in. The majority of these migratory individuals are females, venturing across the Channel to places as distant as Spain or Portugal and then returning to the UK once the weather turns milder.