Key facts

Scientific name: Erithacus rubecula

Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding pairs: 6,700,000

Conservation status: Green

Length: 12 – 13 cm

Wingspan: 20 cm

Weight: 16 – 22 g


Robins have pale brown crowns, napes and upperparts with a buff white wing bar. Their faces, throats and chest are bright orange-red bordered with grey. Underparts are white with rust coloured flanks.

Robins have black bills and dark brown eyes. Their legs and feet are pinkish-brown. Male and female adult robins look virtually identical.

Juvenile robins have mottled brown plumage with pale underparts. The red breast appears approximately two months after the first moult.


Robins are one of the earliest birds to nest with breeding starting in late March, although during mild winters robins have been known to breed as early as January.

They build their nests from sticks, grass, moss and dead leaves in areas with lots of shelter and easy access. Robins are famous for nesting in all sorts of odd locations including post boxes, flower pots, hanging baskets, old boots and even coat pockets. Male robins help gather materials and females do the majority of the building work.

Robins lay non-glossy pale buff, cream or white eggs with reddish speckles. They lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs which are incubated for 13-14 days. Robins fledge after about 14 days.

Two broods a year are usually produced, although a pair may occasionally produce a third.


Robins have a varied diet and will eat spiders, beetles and other small insects, worms, berries, soft fruits and seeds.

Robins will also eat most kitchen scraps such as cakes, biscuits and cheese as well as sunflower hearts and mealworms from bird tables and feeders.


Where to see them

Robins live across the UK and can be seen in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens.


Dmitry Kulakov/xeno-canto

Did you know?

The robin is one of the few birds which can be heard singing during the winter.

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