Their melodious voices, bright red breasts and cheeky attitudes have always endeared Robins to the public, but how much do we really know about these familiar garden visitors? The characteristic image of a Robin on a spade handle is actually a consequence of their keen territorial instincts – males are often to be seen seeking a favourable lookout post. Despite their cute appearance, Robins are aggressively territorial and because they hold their territories all year round, Robins are one of the only UK birds that can still be heard singing in our gardens on Christmas Day, which has perhaps contributed to their longstanding association with the Christmas season.
In this delightful new book Marianne Taylor provides a revealing account of their life cycle, behaviour and breeding, what they eat, how they hold their territories, and she looks into the many cultural representations of these much-loved little birds.
Marianne Taylor is a former editor at Christopher Helm and former sub-editor of (and regular writer for) Birdwatch magazine, now working freelance as a writer, editor, illustrator and photographer. An obsessive birder since childhood, her interest in other wildlife groups has grown steadily, and a new passion for dragonflies and damselflies has dominated her summers for the last three years. Her other books include RSPB British Birds of Prey (Bloomsbury); The Nature Book (Michael O'Mara); Photographing Garden Wildlife (New Holland) and Where to Discover Nature (Bloomsbury).