Robin Erithacus rubecula
The robin bird song is so beautiful particularly at dawn and can be quite complex and melodious but that may be because robins are in the thrush family of birds (Turdidae). As a member of the thrush family, the robin shares a cousin-like kinship with the nightingale, and is also related to the blackbird.
Traditionally associated with scenes of holly trees, snow, and Christmas, this beautiful songbird’s chiming tune can be heard throughout the year, although sometimes it is mistaken for that of a nightingale. Small in stature yet feistily territorial, the robin – voted Britain’s favourite bird – is known for its otherwise tame nature content to be around humans. The robin bird is the darling of the gardener keeping company in case a juicy worm is revealed by the fork.
However, these familiar garden-visitors are very territorial and can fight to the death if an imposter arrives in the robin’s home range. While adult robins display striking red breasts, juveniles do not have any red feathers but instead exhibit mosaics of brown plumage for several months.
Interesting fact: Like human fingerprints, robins are said to be uniquely identifiable by their breast patterns.
For the original watercolour of this print, I tried to capture that stunning redness displayed by a fully-fledged adult, which is perhaps the focal point of this piece. This particular robin was found in a working farm when visiting Widecombe in the Moor in Devon. This Dartmoor robin was puffed-up with cold, on a day in March so cold that hedgerows were covered with ten inch icicles and streams were frozen.
As always I use Windsor and Newton Artist quality paints and a good quality watercolour paper such as Arches. Sable watercolour brushes always give the best results since they are natural, form a find point and hold much paint.
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