Christmas Robins

As we don’t have a scheduled week of nature curriculum this week, we have turned our nature journal attentions, to this iconic Christmas bird.  We have a really friendly one in the garden, who feeds on the feeder, sits and watches the children play, and fearlessly pecks at the ground I am digging very close to me.  However, he doesn’t appear to like his photo taken, so this is a little Robin who didn’t mind, from the end of summer back in the UK.  Our topic was inspired by a section in the Whizz Pop Bang magazine, that we enjoyed reading.  We thought it would be fun to try and draw a robin in our journals, along with some other related sketches and facts about him.  The little lady was up for this, and I thought that today it was going to be a girlie activity, but mini man no.1 surprised me with a change of heart last minute.  He’s been participating in the journals, but his concentration is the first to go, and today he sat there for ages and tried really hard to do his drawings.  I was so pleased that he was enjoying it so much 🙂  Mini man no.2 got to work beavering away at the other end of the table making sure that there wouldn’t be any sellotape left in the house by the time he was done!!

The Robin has been associated with Christmas for over 150 years.  This is thought to have come from when the postmen who delivered Christmas cards, were dressed in red and called Robins.  However, the Robins themselves actually have more orange coloured breasts than red, yet it’s original name was “redbreast”.  This is because the word “orange” wasn’t used in Britain until the 16th century when we started importing oranges!!  They are very clever little things, sensing the earth’s magnetic field to help them find their way around….this is a skill I could do with as even with Google maps on my phone and a paper map combined I can still successfully lose my way!  Although Robins are insectivores, they don’t exclusively stick to this diet as they also enjoy earthworms (hence the reason they hang around when I’m gardening), as well as spiders and berries (oh and our bird food).  We learnt a lot of other interesting facts about these little feathery friends, but perhaps the most interesting one was that the oldest recorded Robin lived to be 19 years old….that’s about 17 times longer than the average life expectancy of a Robin!!

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