Facts About Robins

Here are some robin facts.

  • The American robin belongs to the thrush family of birds, and is found throughout North America. The American robin is named after the European robin. They both have red breasts but they are not very closely related.

  • It weighs between 60 and 85 grams and is well known for its distinctive red breast.
  • Robins make several different sounds and each sound has a different meaning. They make a strange sound (a bit like the noise a horse makes) to indicate a nearby threat.
  • Robins are supposedly the last songbirds to sing during evening.
  • Berries and fruit make up about 60 percent of the bird’s diet, and they also eat grasshoppers and beetles. However, they also like to eat raw pastry, coconuts and fruit cake.
  • Baby robins grow to full size in just 2 weeks. The bird has an average lifespan of just over a year although robins in captivity can live for 10 years or more.
  • Robins often hop when the grass is too high to see over, and they are one of the few bird species that run and hop.
  • The robin can fly at speeds up to 56 kmh.
  • The nest of the robin is typically made from moss, leaves, grass and feathers and they are well known for making nests just about anywhere.
  • The male robin is very protective of its territory.
  • Although British robins can be seen during winter, some of them migrate to warmer areas in southern Europe. Robins from colder parts of northern Europe migrate to Britain in the winter.
  • An old British folk tale has it that the robin’s distinctive red markings are from the blood of Christ. Robins were also sacred to the Norse God of Thunder, Thor.
  • Robins became associated with Christmas during Victorian times, when postmen wore bright red uniforms. Over time, the robin featured on Christmas cards too.
  • The American robin is the state bird of several US states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Connecticut.
  • The bird appears in many Christmas songs and also inspired Batman’s companion.

Snowy Owl Facts and Information

Snowy Owl Fact File

Latin Name: Bubo scandiacus

Colour: Snowy owls have yellow eyes, black beaks and white feathers.

Length: 52 cm to 70 cm

Weight: 1.6 kg to 3 kg

Wingspan: 1.2 metres to 1.5 metres

Habitat: Arctic tundra – although they are sometimes attracted to other open spaces, such as coastal dunes and prairies.

Range: They can be found in north Alaska, Canada and the northern parts of Eurasia. They occasionally visit Shetland, the Cairngorns and the Outer Hebrides.

Other Facts About Snowy Owls

  • Snowy owls are one of the largest species of owl.
  • The male snowy owl is often pure white. The females and young are white with black markings.
  • Snowy owls make their nests at ground level, often on the top of a large boulder or rock.
  • The young snowy owls hatchlings are cared for by both parents.
  • Lemmings are their main food source, but their diet can vary quite a bit, particularly in winter. They can eat most small mammals, such as: rabbits, hares, rats, mole and marmots, and they also prey upon birds – pheasants and grouse, for example.
  • Each bird can eat more than 1500 lemmings every year.
  • They swallow their prey whole. The flesh is digested by their stomach acids, and the indigestible material – bones, teeth and fur – are regurgitated as pellets.
  • Snowy owls have few natural predators. They are most vulnerable during nesting season and they must defend their nests from animals such as arctic foxes and wolves.