basic information

European Robin

Erithacus rubecula (Linnaeus, 1758)

Зарянка | Таңшымшық

Betpackdala, 50 km to N-W Zuantube village
© Andrey Vilyayev


The male and female of the European Robin are similar. The adult birds have brownish olive-tinged color. The flight and tail feathers are some darker but have the light borders of the webs. The forehead strip, flanks of the head, throat, craw and breast are light orange-red; the flanks of the breast are bluish-grey; the flanks of the body are grayish-olive. The middle of the abdomen is white. The legs are light-brown, the bill and eyes are dark brown. The juveniles have yellowish brown with grayish-yellow patches upperparts. The uppertail is rusty. The underparts are dirty yellowish-white with the washed brown scaly pattern upperparts; this pattern is more expressed on the breast. The abdomen is whitish. Wing - 66,5-75,0; tail - 54,0-62,2; beak - 8,7-11,8 mm; weight 14-20 grams.


In Kazakhstan the European Robin nests only on the north-west (and probably on the south-east) of the country. On migration it occurs almost throughout. Rare it winters on the south and south-east of Kazakhstan. The detailed distribution in Kazakhstan please see in the chapter "Subspecies".


The European Robin is common, in places rare passage migrant or winter visitor. Probably it breeds in the West and South-East Kazakhstan however last years the breeding in these areas was not recorded (on West) or was not proved (on South-East). It occurs on migration in the flooded plain forests, deciduous groves, scrub thickets, gardens, parks and forest-belts. The spring migration starts in the end March - April and continues up to the end of April. On the spring migration in Kazakhstan it occurs very rare. In Siberia (where to the Robins migrate) and probably in West Kazakhstan it breeds in the wet dense deciduous and mixed forest with the bush thickets. Nest is built low above the ground in the tree holes, in the stumps and tree checks; or on the ground between the roots. Nest is built from the dry grass and moss and is lined with the thin grass, rootlets and some hair. Clutches of 5-7 eggs is in May – June. Only female incubates for about two weeks, juveniles fledge at 12-15 days old. Two broods per season. In Kazakhstan the autumn migration starts in mid-end September in the northern areas, but in October only in southern ones. Usually it occurs singly and in small groups. Latest migrants recorded in early–mid November. On autumn migration the European Robin regularly observed in West Kazakhstan only; in other parts of the Republic only rare individual birds were observed. In winter European Robin occurs in December - February. Most often on wintering the European Robin is observed in scrub thickets, near the unfrozen springs, in the riparian forests of the mountain rivers, especially in the sea-buckthorn thickets. In winter time in the bushes and gardens of the cities and villages it is observed rarer. It is insectivorous bird. In the middle of the summer the some seeds and berries are added to the basic food. But even on the wintering the insects presents in its food. In the Aksu Dzhabagly reserve in the end of November and mid-December the European Robins eats the insects (bugs, beetles) with sea-buckthorn berries together.


Erithacus rubecula rubecula (Linnaeus 1758)

    Description. The upper parts are darker and less clean-grey color, with more dispersed buffy-olive tinge than on tataricus; on the upper tail coverts and on the borders of the outer webs of tail feathers the buffy-olive tinge is more dispersed; the rusty colour on the forehead, lore, throat and breast is darker than on tataricus.
    Distribution. Breeds in Western Kazakhstan on Ilek valley and in Karabutak river mouth, however recent years it not recorded in these areas. On migration occurs in Volga-Ural area, in lower current of Ural river valley, in lower current of Emba river, in Mugodzhary ridge, in lower reaches of Turgay river (9 and 26 October 1975), and on Mangyshlak. In winter it recorded on Barsa-Kelmes island.

Erithacus rubecula tataricus (Grote, 1928)

    Description. The upper parts are lighter and more clean-grey, with less dispersed buffy-olive tinge than on rubecula. On the upper tail coverts and on the borders of outer webs of tail feathers the buffy-olive shade is less dispersed than on rubecula. The rusty colour on the forehead, lore, throat and breast is lighter than rubecula.
    Distribution. The indication about the nesting in Dzhungarskiy Alatau is not proved. On migration occurs in the eastern part of Kazakhstan, in the west up to Naurzum Reserve (5 November 1971), the lower Turgay river and Syrdarya valley. Recorded in highlands of Zailiyskiy Alatau (Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake on 25 October 1975 and some lower on 28 November 1977). Sometimes winters in south-eastern Kazakhstan, from Ile valley up to foothills of Western Tien Shan. Near Chilik three birds recorded 15 January 2000.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 3. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1970. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.



Erithacus rubecula rubecula
(Linnaeus 1758)
Erithacus rubecula tataricus
(Grote, 1928)

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Игорь Фефелов: Андрей явно считает, что пухляк.


Андрей Коваленко: Хотя, по первой фото смотрится скорее восточным канюком...


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