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bird The Round Robin

Identify It >   Birds Section >   The Round Robin >

This little self-inflating Robin certainly looks cute puffing its feathers up in a puffer-fish-style but its doing it for two very good, life-preserving reasons.

Firstly it's trying to keep warm.  The video was taken on a cold, frosty morning and having a layer of insulating air between the body and the chilly outside air helps to keep the bird warm, in just the same way as a duvet keeps you warm at night.

Secondly there's a lot of competition for those seeds on the ground.  The little Robin is surrounded by Grenfinches, Great Tits and Nuthatches all ready to snatch his breakfast from under his beak.  When he puffs up his feathers he appears to be a much larger bird than he really is, and this raises his position in the pecking order.  Ultimately this allows him to get a greater share of the food than if he were a smaller bird.

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