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Wildlife to see in December – Robins

Ever pondered the significance of red robins during the Christmas season? The little bird’s image is on Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers etc. and it is due to several reasons stated below.

According to legend, a robin removed a thorn from Jesus Christ's crown as he was hanging on the cross and sang to help him feel better, from there, it is stated that the robin's red breast was made by Christ's blood. Another Christian based story is about a brave brown robin which positioned himself between the fire and the face of the newborn Jesus after observing that Mary had become preoccupied with the innkeeper's wife. The robin spread its feathers out to shield the baby, but in doing so, the flames burnt its breast and from then on future robin generations then carried on the red plumage. Postmen in Victorian-era Britain were given the nickname "robins" because of the red-breasted colour of their uniforms and as they delivered Christmas cards the association was made with the festive season.

In ecology, the explanation for the robin’s red breast is that the birds use it to attract mates and to maintain and control their territories. Every year that a robin survives its red breast gets a little larger and becomes more attractive and more intimidating. Males and females both have red breasts, however young birds lack red breasts and are speckled with golden brown. Robin’s sing almost all year long and are often the first bird to sing in the mornings and late into the night wherever there are street lamps. According to the RSPB, the UK’s robin population is not under threat, but there are always things you can do to help support the nation’s favourite bird.

Things you can do to help our Robins:

1. Put out mealworms, fat, cheese, biscuit crumbs, broken up peanuts etc. on a bird table

2. Frequently clean the bird table to prevent the spread of infection

3. Try putting up a custom made robin nesting box, which is often cup shaped with a large opening


Wildlife Working Group News

Risby Garden Wildlife Habitat Mapping – our group has been invited to map our village to help with nature recovery networks across Suffolk. Please fill in the survey when it comes through your door and help us help wildlife and people.

Planters at Village Hall - would you like to design and create a planter at the hall? We are looking for residents to get involved by choosing which plants can be put into these planters to help wildlife. Contact us if you’d like to be involved.

Hedgehog campaign - we will be launching our hedgehog campaign in January. Contact us if you want to help hedgehogs in your garden.

Wildlife Working Group Outings - next year we will be organising wildlife group outings to see wildlife rich areas in the region. If you would like to come along please get in contact!

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