Great tits are very loud at this time of year. They sit high in the trees and shout. It is a distinctive repetitive call like a creaky gate. Listen out for it.

This is the robin that sang for the Friends of Southwick Country Park as they hacked their way through the thicket of bramble and blackthorn at the rear of the car park on Tuesday morning.


Winter song

Many of our little songbirds abandon their territories in the winter and flock, sometimes in large numbers; but not the robin. Robins stick to and defend their territories right through the winter and their winter song is part of that defence.

Singing in winter is a high risk strategy. It uses a lot of energy when food resources are low but hanging on to a good territory right through the winter gives a robin an advantage in the spring when the breeding season begins. His winter song is shorter, quieter and altogther smaller than it will be come the spring.

Header photograph by Suzanne Humphries

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