dshubble's picture

Robin sunbathing

Observed: 20th June 2009 By: dshubble
Leaf Beetle Recording SchemeSouthampton Natural History Society
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Robins bred in the back garden of our old house and I think this was a bird born and raised there. An old chimney pot was intended for growing tomato plants but the robin found it an excellent place to sunbathe, complete with south-facing wall...

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lst55's picture


Looks quite young still with the downy feathers. I had one doing the same on a pile of grass cuttings last year!


OU Student

the naturalist man's picture


One theory about this behaviour is that they are trying to drive parasites out of their feathers by literally making it too hot for them, or too bright.

Graham Banwell

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dshubble's picture


Yes, that's what I understand to be the case. They do seem to gape while sunbathing (I've seen this in blackbirds too) while implies that they are getting hotter than would otherwise be comfortable and in turn implies there must be a good reason for it.

vld91's picture

i think this is a juvenile

i think this is a juvenile European robin as it looks as though it is going through a moult as there are many tufts in its feathers and its red breast plumage its beggining to appear. im not sure if this is a male of a female as it is very difficult to tell with E. rubecula.

Conservation student