Robin during a winter snowstorm, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
© Ben Robson Hull Photography/Getty Image
So, how long 'til spring?
Winter often brings cold and snow to the uplands of the Peak District, as this little robin well knows. Here we see it puffing up its plumage to insulate its body against the wintry weather. Commonly known as the robin redbreast, it can appear more orange than red. Legend has it that when it first earned the nickname redbreast, probably in the 1400s, the word ‘orange' had not yet been introduced as the name of a colour in English. Animals and other things were often named 'red' even when orange or tawny: the red deer, Red Planet and robin redbreast are all examples. Whatever you decide to call our little friend, we can all appreciate its bright splash of colour on an otherwise bleak wintry day.
This weekend, around half a million people across the UK are expected to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, and it's likely that many of us will spy European robins, which are widespread here. One of the world's largest wildlife surveys, the Big Garden Birdwatch has been running for over 40 years. Participants spend just one hour in a garden, local park or even on a balcony and count the number of each bird species that land there at any one time. By comparing data trends over the years, the RSPB can monitor the health of bird populations and better understand the challenges faced by wildlife.