Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 58,700,000-90,500,000 pairs, which equates to 117,000,000-181,000,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.90% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 130,000,000-201,000,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
In Europe the overall trend from 1980-2013 was increasing (EBCC 2015).
This species is found in forest undergrowth and edge, preferring conifer tracts in some parts of its range and deciduous woodland in others. It uses copses and adjacent open land, farmland woodlots, thickets along watercourses, hedgerows with some tall trees, orchards, gardens and parks and is also found in urban areas in parts of Europe. It requires cool shade, medium-height cover with perches, and patches of bare ground. Breeding occurs from early April to mid-June in the U.K., from the end of April to late July in central Europe and from mid-May in northern Russia and mid-April in southern Russia.
The nest is a cup of moss, grass, leaves and twigs and lined with fine grass and hair. It is placed on a bulky mat of leaves and is always sited in a recess, usually in low undergrowth, a hedge, grass bank, wall, rock face, tree cavity, tree roots or nestbox. Typically lays four to seven eggs. The diet is mainly invertebrates, fruits and seeds but it will also take very small vertebrates, carrion, left-overs and bird table foods. Migration in this species is poorly understood but in general it is thought eastern populations are migratory while more western populations are resident or partially migratory (Collar 2015).
The species is subject to hunting for food around the Mediterranean basin (Collar 2015). Population fluctuations are normally driven by severe, hard winters (Hagemeijer and Blair 1997).
Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II.. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.
Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species within its European range.
Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Erithacus rubecula. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2020.