#298 European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

25 December

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the appearance of a REAL Robin … unfortunately they are not native to North America and not actually to be found here at all. Nevertheless, I trust I will be forgiven for slipping this delightful fellow … this particular specimen is a Scottish Robin observed in Glencoe.

The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), known simply as the robin or robin redbreast in the British Isles, is a small insectivorous passerine bird that belongs to the chat subfamily of the Old World flycatcher family. About 12.5–14.0 cm (5.0–5.5 inches) in length, the male and female are similar in colouration, with an orange breast and face lined with grey, brown upper-parts and a whitish belly. It is found across Europe, east to Western Siberia and south to North Africa; it is sedentary in most of its range except the far north.

The term robin is also applied to some birds in other families with red or orange breasts. These include the American robin (Turdus migratorius), a thrush, and the Australasian robins of the family Petroicidae, the relationships of which are unclear.

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a fine bird but it’s still a Thrush and hence an imposter.

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