National Robin Day 2021

Help Britain’s favourite songbird get through the cold winter

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 20 December 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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A campaign to mark National Robin Day ( 21 December) has been launched to raise awareness of the challenges our birds and wildlife face each winter.
 
With habitats being lost to urbanisation and other threats at play, songbirds increasingly depend on humans for food, water and shelter to make the harsh winter months easier.

Smaller birds are particularly prone to physical stresses: a robin can lose up to 10% of its body fat in one cold night.

While the British public spots robins on balconies and in gardens and local parks, they should know how tough the winter months are for nature.

Songbird population decline

On average, songbird populations have declined by 50% in 50 years (some have declined by p to 90%, while others have increased).

SongBird Survival – the independent charity behind the campaign – raises funds for top-quality scientific research into this alarming decline and how to mitigate it. 

‘Everyone loves the robin for its symbolic connections with the festive season, but these birds are not just for Christmas – many songbird species need our help. With their habitats lost to humans, we must support them through the cruelest months.’

SUSAN MORGAN
CEO of SongBird Survival

How to help robins

Anyone can help to support robins through the winter, no matter how big or small your outdoor space is.

Top tips from SongBird Survival include providing:

  • Natural food sources that are clean, and sited in safe locations
  • Shelter
  • Clean water
  • High-quality supplementary food
  • Nesting sites
  • Protection from cats and other predators
  • Good hygiene of feeders, bird baths and nest boxes
  • Vertical growing climbers, such as Clematis montana
  • Insect-attracting plants
  • Ice- and snow-free space

Keeping the dawn chorus alive

Founded in 2001, SongBird Survival is the only charity in the UK solely dedicated to halting the alarming decline of song and other small birds, such as corn bunting, willow tit and tree and house sparrow.

It does so by funding independent scientific studies that aim to shed light on the reasons why around 50% of our songbirds have disappeared over the past 50 years.

These studies will help determine how land can be managed more sustainably, with a view to restoring a rich, balanced and resilient population of birds similar to that enjoyed in the 1970s to help keep a healthy dawn chorus alive.

The public is encouraged to donate to help fund independent scientific studies into how to support UK songbirds, such as research by the University of Sussex and the University of Exeter into pesticides’ impact on birds, and improving the welfare of cats and other wildlife (respectively). 

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