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Robins in Ireland


The robin is one of Ireland's favourite birds. With it's striking red breast the robin is instantly recognisable. The robin is a plump bird with olive-brown upper parts and a white/grey belly. The legs and the beak are brown in colour. The male and female are very similar.

Juvenile robins do not have any red feathers and this may be a defence mechanism against attack from territorial adults. Until they reach adulthood immature robins have speckled buff-brown upper parts and underparts.

Resident robins are joined by immigrants from continental Europe birds from Scandinavia. The visiting robins are generally more pale that Irish residents and they tend to be less tame.

Robins are very territorial right throughout the year round. In the spring and summer this is for breeding purposes. During the rest of the year this is to protect feeding grounds. Robins will vigorously defend their territories to the point of death.

Although the average life span for a robin is just two years the longest lived robin was recorded at eight years and five months in 1977.

Irish Name for Robin

The Irish word for robin is Spideog.

Robin Feeding

A robin's diet is largely based upon insects and worms. They usually swoop down on their prey after watching from a perch or other vantage point. Robins are renowned for following gardeners to pick off larvae and grubs left in the human's wake.

They are also known to have a sweet 'beak' and will relish any confectioneries left out although mealworms are a healthier option. With a little patience robins will learn accept food from the hand.

Both male and female robins command separate feeding territories in the winter and they will defend them. By midwinter robins will have paired-off and will remain together until the following autumn moult.

Robins Nesting

Robin eggs

A robin's nest is made from grass, moss and dead leaves. It will be lined with hair, wool, or any other soft materials. They usually build their nests in a hole in a wall, tree cavity, ivy, or a bank. Notoriously, robins will nest in less orthodox locations including sheds, garages, cars, post boxes and garden barbecues. They have even been known to build a nest in coat pockets. If you wish to encourage robins to nest in your garden use a open-fronted nest box.

Robin's eggs are smooth, dull and are white or pale blue with reddish spots. Only the female incubates the eggs however the young are fed by both female and male.


Scientific Name: Erithacus rubecula



Irish Status:

Length: 14cm Wingspan: 21cm Weight: M/F: 18g

Call: : Relatively slow series of notes ranging up and down the scale, becoming more rapid in parts - the notes rolling into each other.

Habitat: Forest, woodland, urban

Diet: Insects, especially beetles (including larvae), also fruit, seeds in winter

Breeding Age:
From 1 year
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
2 (occasionally 3)
Incubation (days):
Fledging (days):
2 years

Conservation Status in Ireland: GREEN


Robin Range in Ireland

The robin is a permanent resident and is widespread and common throughout Ireland.

Map of the range of Robins in Ireland.

Arctic Terns in Ireland - Blue Tits in Ireland - Coal Tits in Ireland - Goldfinches in Ireland - Great Tits in Ireland - Grey Herons in Ireland - Jackdaws in Ireland - Longtailed Tits in Ireland - Magpies in Ireland - Mallards in Ireland - Mistle Thrushes in Ireland - Mute Swans in Ireland - Pheasants in Ireland - Puffins in Ireland - Robins in Ireland - Rooks in Ireland - Song Thrushes in Ireland - Starlings in Ireland - Swallows in Ireland - Swans in Tallaght - Swans Oil-Damaged - Waxwings in Ireland - Woodpigeons in Ireland - Wrens in Ireland

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