Monday, 15 December 2014

Dec 15th Waterloo Park, Norwich

It is just about a week until Christmas and today I have decided to visit my local park in search for a festive bird... the robin.  Robins are very common birds, so my search was not very long. They are not perticularly shy birds and tend to pose for my camera for a few moments at a time.
 Robins are a classic Christmas card icon in the UK. That orange-red breast, that rounded body shape and cheerful-looking appearance sitting on a frosty branch. How can you not feel festive after seeing that?

But of course, to the bird itself, all this means something different. The red breast is a threat to other robins in its territory. They fight each other a lot, sometimes to the death. Not so cheerful now are they?

 As it is winter, you will notice in these photos that these robins look plump. Actually, this is just fluffy insulation not fat. Its just trapped air within the feathers making it quite cosy.

The song is a soft and whispery, mellow tune which both males and females sing to defend territories. Just listening to them singing, I notice they are everywhere in this park. It is like a secret turf war under our noses. And they will defend their patch even throughout the night under the light of a streetlamp.

But despite all this, robins are still loved by many. Which leads to one question, how did robins get on Christmas cards in the first place? Well, we have the Victorians to thank for that. During the Victorian era postmen wore red uniforms and were known as 'Robins'. Postmen are a cheerful lot and are responsible to delivering the cards in the first place. So I'm guessing that is the connection and the reason why a robin is on a Christmas card.

Robins are a perfect bird for beginners starting the bird watching hobby. You just need a garden  to find them. But as I don't own a garden, that does not mean I can't meet a robin as you can find them almost anywhere that you go. A true festive favourite that is with us all year round, not just for Christmas.

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