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Why do we see so many robins in our winter gardens?

Posted by Luci Ackers on 11 January 2017
Related property: Duloe Manor
Why do we see so many robins in our winter gardens?

This friendly robin has been showing off in the gardens of Duloe recently. He's often around at this time and you're bound to spot him if you're out walking the grounds.

Robins seem always to be synonymous with Christmas and winter. These stunning little birds are all over the place come the colder months. Perhaps that's because there are suddenly more of them...

Where do robins go in the summer and winter?

Did you know that robins actually migrate? Due to a shortage of food throughout the winter many of the robins from further north in Scandinavia actually migrate downwards to join our robins over the cold period. These ones tend to be a little paler in colour and slightly less tame as well – possibly because they are used to the woodland of their home habitat and see fewer humans. Though some of our UK robins do migrate across the Chanel during winter, it does tend to be less common.

Here in Britain we are lucky enough to have Robins year-round and both the males and the females sing throughout the year from the early morning right through into the evening, usually for territorial reasons. 

Why are robins associated with Christmas?

Over the Christmas period robins are looking for a mate and they will be more active (the male will be exploring other robins' territories) and will be a lot more vocal. You'll see and hear robins in the garden, in hedgerows and parks. By mid-January the majority of robins tend to be paired up and the females no longer feel the need to sing.

When is robin breeding season?

The breeding season for robins is usually March time and in a good year you can be seeing fledglings right through until late July; robins have two or sometimes three broods per year.

What's the difference between male and female robins?

At first glance, male and female robins are very similar in both size and colour. In fact, it's very difficult to tell them apart. They do have subtle differences in the shape of their heads, with the male having a more 'square' peak comapred to the female's v-shaped peak. 

The easiest way to distinguish between male and female robins is to watch their behaviour. During breeding season, you'll see the male robins feeding the females, while a robin building a nest or sitting on eggs will be female. 

What does seeing a robin mean?

As well as the obvious link with the season of goodwill, robins are associated with the arrival of spring and new beginnings. Some say that crossing paths with a robin heralds a significant change in your life. They're also linked to the idea of happiness and moving forward into a new, positive phase of life.

Duloe is a great place to spot all sorts of birds and this year manager Michelle and her team received a fantastic Christmas card from a Mr. Ian Gyllenspetz and his wife Sheelagh. The Christmas card which was named The Twelve Birds of Christmas is a beautifully illustrated hand-made card of all the birds the Gyllenspetz's have spotted in the grounds during their winter stay here. A huge thank you to them for sending in such a wonderful gift.

Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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