European Robin

(Erithacus rubecula)




Facts about this animal

The robin is a songbird of 14 cm length characterized by its red breast and distinctive plump shape. Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown.

Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial at all times, somewhat less during cold winter periods. Courtship behaviour may be observed already in January, but the breeding season normally begins in March. The birds pair only for the duration of the breeding season. Most nests are located on or near the ground in hollows, tree roots, piles of logs and any other situations that provide a fully concealed cavity.

The nest is built by the female from leaves, moss and feathers and lined with rootlets and hair. 2 to 3 broods are produced per year. A clutch consists of 5 to 7 eggs, which are incubated by the female alone. The male feeds the female while she is brooding. The young hatch after 12-15 days, and become independent after 3 weeks.

They feed predominantly on insects, spiders and other arthropods, but may also tak snails and, in particulr during wither, fruit and berries.

Most robins from Northern, Central and Eastern Europe migrate to winter in Western Europe or around the Mediterranean.

Did you know?
that female robins tend to be more migratory than males?


Class AVES
Suborder OSCINES
Name (Scientific) Erithacus rubecula
Name (English) European Robin
Name (French) Rougegorge
Name (German) Rotkehlchen
Name (Spanish) Petirrojo
Local names Croatian: Crvendac
Czech: Cervenka obecná
Danish: Rødhals
Dutch: Roodborst
Estonian: Punarind
Finnish: Punarinta
Greek: Kokkinolaimis
Hungarian: Vörösbegy
Italian: Pettirosse
Latvian: Sarkanriklite
Lithuanian: Liepsnelé
Norwegian: Rødstrupe, Raudstrupe
Portuguese: Pisco-de-peito-ruivo
Rumansh: Puppencotschen
Slovakian: Slávik cervienka
Slovenian: Tascica
Swedish: Rödhake
Turkish: Kizilgerdan
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Appendix II



Photo Copyright by
Andreas Trepte



Range Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia former Yug. Rep., Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (with Azores and Madeira), Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (with Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, vagrants in Iceland, Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Asia: China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Tajikistan, vagrants in Afghanistan, Japan, Oman, Saudi Arabia. North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia;
Habitat Forests, hedgerows, parks and gardens.
Wild population Preliminary estimate of the global population size is 137,000,000-332,000,000 (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 3 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

European Robin


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 11F of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Marek Szczepanek

Why do zoos keep this animal

European robins are a widespread and very common species. Indviduals may be kept for animal welfare reasons as zoos may come into the position of accepting injured birds.