The adult European Robin is 12.5-14.0 cm (5.0-5.5 in) long and weighs 16-22 g with a wingspan of 20-22 cm (8-9 in). The male and female bear similar plumage; an orange breast and face (more strongly coloured in the otherwise similar British subspecies E. r. mesophilus), lined by a bluish grey on the sides of the neck and chest. The upperparts are brownish, or olive-tinged in British birds, and the belly whitish, while the legs and feet are brown. The bill and eyes are black. Juveniles are a spotted brown and white in colouration, with patches of orange gradually appearing.

Habitat and Distribution

This bird occurs in Eurasia east to Western Siberia, south to Algeria and on the Atlantic islands as far west as the Azores and Madeira. It is not found in Iceland. In the south east, it reaches the Caucasus range. British Robins are largely resident but a small minority, usually female, migrate to southern Europe during winter, a few as far as Spain. It prefers spruce woods in northern Europe, contrasting with its preference for parks and gardens in the British Isles.


Their usual diet is terrestrial invertebrates, such as spiders, insects and worms. They come close when anyone is digging to look out for freshly turned food. In winter, autumn they eat fruit. They also eat seed mixtures placed on bird tables.


The European Robin nests in anything which can offer some shelter, like a depression or hole. The nest is composed of moss, leaves and grass, with finer grass, hair and feathers for lining. The breeding season begins in March in Britain and Ireland. Two or three clutches of five or six eggs are laid. The eggs are a cream, buff or white speckled or blotched with reddish-brown colour.

Calls and Songs

The Robin has a fluting, warbling song, sung during the breeding season.