The European Robin is a small bird which can be found throughout various parts of Eurasia during the summer months and is permanently found residing in much of Europe throughout the year. It is perhaps most distinct because of its bright orange breast plummage and is also recognised especially in the U.K. for its depiction on Christmas cards.
Characteristics of the European Robin
The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a small bird which is classed as an Old World flycatcher. Previously, it was classed as a member of the thrush family. Even though it shares part of its name with the larger American Robin (Turdus migratorius), most probably due to the fact that the American Robin has a similar orange breast to the European Robin, the two are not closely related.
A diurnal bird, the European Robin is not unknown to be seen actively hunting for insects at night. This is especially true around artificial sources of light. It is also known as "the gardener's friend" due to its appetite for insects. Indeed, it is not unknown for Robins to stay within very close proximity to a gardener or even foraging animals in order for it to take advantage of insects that may have been disturbed.
The male European Robin
The male European Robin is known for being highly territorial and will readily attack other males which have ventured too close to their territory. Such is the violence of the male that they have even been observed attacking other small birds without provocation. It has been estimated that up to 10% of deaths in male Robins could be as a result of these attacks.