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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Robin

Hebrides bird sightings - Robin
Robin in nestbox


(Robin Redbreast, European Robin)

Erithacus rubecula

Gaelic: Brù-dhearg


Photograph © Frank Stark
Leurbost - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)

I asked Frank Stark about his nest boxes...

"House Sparrows roost in some nest boxes all year round . By doing this they become aware of potential nest sites, so take advantage of this by erecting nest boxes now.

A Robin requires an open fronted construction and the same type of box could possibly attract breeding Wrens.

I have a few Coal Tits in the garden and i am doing everything possible to try and get them to breed in my garden next spring.
I have suspended peanut feeders near most of my nest boxes so that at least they are aware of possible nest sites - dont hang the feeders directly from the nest box. I nail a branch above whatever the nest box is fixed to so that it projects past the front of the box. I then suspend the feeder to the end of the branch.

I am not stuck with the lack of mature trees. Fortunately i have quite a high thick hedge. All i do is hammer 8 ft long fence posts into the ground close to the hedge, sometimes in among the vegetation, until the posts are about 6-61/2 ft high. I then attach my nest boxes to the posts. I also fix some nest boxes lower down for Robins, Wrens, Coal Tits etc. and although i was concerned that cats might gain access to these , i found that the biggest threat was from keen eyed Corvids.

I have about 25 boxes just now but i plan to make more. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to build one from scratch, without power tools.
Re Robin roosting.... I have never noticed Robins roosting in any nest boxes but this does not mean that they dont.

I had a small garden where i used to live before moving here and only had 2 Blue \tit boxes erected. One Box was used every year by a breeding pair while the other was used entirely for roosting by one particular individual all year, but especially more so in winter.
The reason for this i deduced was that although the box used for roosting was what the bird required for that particular purpose, it was exposed to the sun all day during summer and was unsuitable for breeding in.

However, i cant explain why no birds roosted in the box that was used for breeding.



Our Robin photographs

Robin nest box

adult male

nest box


  • Robin
  • Erithacus rubecula
  • Gaelic: Brù-dhearg
  • WI: Fairly common (100-999 breeding pairs) resident breeder
  • Robins live to about 8yrs


A fledgling is a young bird from the time it first leaves the nest until it is independent of the care of it's parents.


Robin records in the Western Isles

Erithacus rubecula melophilus is a fairly common (100-999 breeding pairs) resident breeder.

Erithacus rubecula is probably an uncommon passage Visitor (low numbers)

Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Robin is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

























(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)





Frank's web site of his nature photography

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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