What’s your Christmas BIRD?

Post image for What’s your Christmas BIRD?

by MartinGarner on December 8, 2010 · 8 comments

in Birding Western Palearctic

In the UK we will soon be besieged with Christmas cards. THE bird species which will be more in evidence than any other will be the European Robin. Not the Robin of North America (Turdus migratorius), but a much smaller cuter -looking, super aggressive chat. Often known as the gardeners  friend, our resident British birds are often quite tame. However we are invaded each autumn by hundreds or even thousands of immigrant Robins from Scandinavia and probably even parts of Russia. These are wilder Robins and some are super migrants, having reached as far east as Japan. One of the wilder ones from North and East of the UK is in the photo above. Taken on the Shetland Isles in October 2010.

So 2 questions come to mind:

1) When will North America get its first real proper Robin (a European one)! Newfoundland  must be a good bet.

2) If ours is the Robin, what is the bird most represented in the Christmas  paraphernalia in North America? Hope its not the Turkey!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan December 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Interesting comment. I’m not in the US anymore but am American, and I can’t say that we ever had one specific “Christmas bird”. But the bird I’d most associate with Christmas is the Northern Cardinal, seconded by the Black-capped Chickadee.


Martin Garner December 9, 2010 at 10:53 am

Thanks Nate and Dan- wow Northern Cardinal. nice one!


Nate December 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

The Christmas bird in North America is Northern Cardinal, bar none. And it’s sitting in a fir tree in the snow, which has to be really weird for the full third of the continent that doesn’t have Cardinals.


Wendy December 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I agree, in the US, the Northern Cardinal is probably the most featured bird on Christmas cards


Gunnar Engblom December 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm

In Sweden the BullFinch is on every Christmas card. I don’t think there are any particular birds associated with Christmas in Peru. Maybe we should start a new tradition here. How about Vermilion Flycatcher and Peruvian Meadowlark? Are they worthy?
Gunnar Engblom
Kolibri Expeditions

PS. Please excuse my briefness….this is written on a mobile device.


Martin Garner December 9, 2010 at 10:52 am

Fascinating Gunnar, I had no idea- wonder if its different in other European countries



Susan Myers December 15, 2010 at 6:01 am

I guess it would have to be the Kookaburra in Australia!


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