Grantor Maxine Headland sent in this shot of a robin on her land for a competition in last winter’s Gridline magazine, but we kept hold of it to share this year with a few more of your excellent entries.
But before you take a look at some of the other grantor shots, here are eight things you maybe didn’t know about the visitor most commonly associated with winter.
- Because of high mortality in the first year of life, a robin has an average life expectancy of 1.1 years. But once past its first year it can expect to live longer – one robin has been recorded as reaching 19 years of age.
- Most British robins defend their territories year round, though a handful head south to winter on the Continent.
- Many are faithful to both their summer and winter territories, hundreds of kilometres apart.
- The robin’s red breast is used by males to settle territorial disputes, especially during the breeding season.
- A dispute starts with males singing at each other, trying to get a higher perch to show off their breast most effectively. This usually ends the challenge, with one individual deferring to the other but sometimes it can escalate to a fight which can result in injury or death.
- In some populations, up to 10 per cent of adult mortality is due to clashes over territory. This is the reason why robins are born without a red breast, and don’t acquire it until their first moult.
- Robins will nest almost anywhere. Recorded nest sites include plant pots, a pigeonhole in a desk, the engine of a WWII plane and even on an unmade bed.
- Robins are one of the first birds to start the dawn chorus and one of the last to stop singing at night.