The Irish Robin – Wildlife Wednesdays.

Our weekly dive into our beautiful Irish wildlife – This week is the iconic and much loved Robin – The Spideog

Everybody knows the robin is very important, especially around Christmas time. These beautiful little garden birds are a favourite with us all so let’s learn more about them.

This series will help your family reconnect with Ireland’s unique and wonderful wildlife.

Each week we cover a new animal or bird that appears in the Johnny Magory book series.

Johnny Magory and the Forest Fleadh Cheoil
Johnny Magory and the Forest Fleadh Cheoil stars Danny Robin who’s hiding on every page.
Click here to find out more about our books.

Here’s some key facts to recap on the Robin:

  • Lifespan is approx 2 years in the wild but the oldest recorded was eight years and five months.
  • They are the only bird in Ireland that keeps singing right through the winter and unusually the female sings also.
  • Adult male and female robins look identical.
  • Young robins lack the red breast instead have spotted brown plumage with a scalloped golden pattern on the breast.
  • Their diet consists of insects and worms and they are known for following human gardeners for any unearthed opportunities. They have a sweet beak too and with a little patience can be trained to eat from a human hand.
  • Males and females pair off annually around mid winter and stay together through to autumn.
  • Their nest is made from grass, moss and dead leaves lined with hair and wool. They usually build in a hole in a wall, tree cavity, ivy, or a bank but are known for setting up house in locations including sheds, garages, cars, post boxes and garden barbecues and even in coat pockets!
  • Here are some popular parts of the Robin in Irish folklore:
  • If a robin stays close to the house in autumn, a harsh winter can be expected.
  • Robins are a sure sign of spring and if you make a wish on the first robin of spring before it flies off, you’ll have luck throughout the following year.
  • In the Christian tradition, it is thought that a robin tried to remove the thorns from Jesus’ head during the Crucifixion, and that drops of his blood fell onto the bird and stained his breast feathers red forever.
  • If you see a robin singing in the open that good weather is on its way, but that if the robin is seen sheltering among the branches of a tree that it will soon rain.
  • Also, if the first bird that you see on St Valentine’s Day, it means that you are destined to marry a sailor!
  • In our house, the Robin is sent by Santy to report back good behaviour

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