The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.
The rhyme is believed to date back to the 16th century and indicates our long-lived association with and love for this common garden bird. It also brings to mind the plight of our feathered friends at this time of year and I couldn't help feeling desperately sorry for them as I watched a group of 6 Long-tailed Tits yesterday. It had just started to fall dark and the temperature, which hadn't got above freezing all day, had begun to plunge even lower, when the little creatures appeared. All at once they descended on our fatballs and started to feed furiously for a few minutes desperately trying to take on a few more precious calories to see them through the night ahead.
Certainly, there didn't seem to be much comfort to be had in amongst the snowy branches of the countryside, so where these little birds 'keep themselves warm' is anyone's guess. Keep putting the food out!