There are many associations that link the Robin with Christmas. The image of a Robin at Christmas time is one that brings cheer to us all. These small, often inquisitive birds have a brightness and warmth that lights the dark and cold winter months.
The third verse of William Allingham’s classic Victorian poem, Robin Redbreast, reminds us to consider the birds.
The fireside for the Cricket,
The wheatstack for the Mouse,
When trembling night-winds whistle
And moan all round the house;
The frosty ways like iron,
The branches plumed with snow, --
Alas! in Winter, dead and dark,
Where can poor Robin go?
Robin, Robin Redbreast,
O Robin dear!
And a crumb of bread for Robin,
His little heart to cheer.
For Robin’s and all birds that visit our gardens, a few crumbs or better still a bird feeder help to supplement their natural food supply that dwindles at this time of year. Feeding these guests allows us to get really close to them and the more you look, the more you see their fantastic colours and interesting behaviours.
At a time when we all benefit from sharing our homes with family, friends and neighbours, we can benefit also by sharing our gardens with wildlife.