This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Redbreast or Robin Redbreast (Erythacus rubecola) belongs to the Dentirostral Insessors, and is included in the subfamily Erythacinae or Robins,a sub-division of Sylviadae, or Warblers. The red breast of the male is the distinguishing feature of these bold and confident birds, so well known for associating closely with mankind, especially in winter, the female having the breast of a duller yellowish-brown colour. The nest is built in a crevice of an old ivied wall, a hedgebank and various other places, and is made of moss and leaves, and lined with feathers. The eggs are five or six, pale grey in colour, profusely marked with reddish spots. The food consists of worms, small slugs and other mollusca, particularly the eggs, also larvae of ground insects, varied with fruit in season. It is very fond of currants and cherries, also grapes, often entering late vineries pecking and spoiling the berries. Indeed there is little of the "babes in the wood" tale instinct in the redbreast, its disposition being extremely pugnacious to its own. members; but the bird's familiar habits with mankind, marked for selfishness, though its confidence, render it a general favourite.