European robin

European robin
Erithacus rubecula

Photo by Olivier Baudoux (Nunda Foto)

Common name:
European robin (en); pisco-de-peito-ruivo (pt); rouge-gorge familier (fr); petirrojo europeo (es); rotkehlchen (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This species is found throughout Europe, with the exception if Iceland and the northernmost parts of Scandinavia and Russia. Also in North Africa, along the Mediterranean coast from Morocco to Egypt and in the Middle East from Israel and Syria, through Iraq and into western Iran.

These birds are 12,5-14 cm long and have a wingspan of 20-22 cm. They weigh 16-22 g.

The European robin is found in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, scrublands and forests in temperate and boreal areas, pastures, plantations, arable land, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

They feed on various invertebrates, such as earthworms, spiders and insects, as well as soft fruits, berries and seeds.

European robins breed in March-August. The cup-shaped nest is made of dead leaves and moss with a lining of hair, and placed in virtually any depression or hole such as crevices, sheltered banks, among ivy, or in unusual spots like old teapots, jacket pockets, shelves in buildings, barbecues, bicycle handlebars, bristles on upturned brooms, discarded kettles, watering cans, flower pots and even hats. The female lays 4-6 cream-coloured, white or faintly bluish eggs with reddish-brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed by the female and fledge about 14 days after hacthing. Each pair usually raises 2-3 broods per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 137-332 million individuals. Data from 21 European countries indicate the population has a stable trend and there are no evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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