LONDON (TIP): Britain will officially have a national bird on May 8 after a massive public poll to choose from 10 shortlisted name closes.
The robin is the front runner to win the title.
The list originally had 60 shortlisted names of birds vying for the title which has now been reduced to 10. They are: the barn owl, blackbird, blue tit, hen harrier, kingfisher, mute swan, puffin, red kite, robin and wren.
The government said the lack of a national bird for Britain was a glaring omission.
The vote description said, “All you have to do is vote for one of the 10 short-listed birds that best personifies all that this wonderful nation represents. These 10 birds have been nominated from an original list of 60 iconic British birds that were voted on last year. Each of the 10 species has a special place in the hearts and minds of the great British public”.
The robin with its bright red breast is one of the few birds in the UK that sing all year round. Robins and their nests are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence intentionally to kill, injure or take any wild bird.
It is an offence intentionally to take, damage or destroy the eggs, young or nest of a robin while it is in use. Robins are relatively short-lived. They live, on average, only a couple of years, but a few reach quite an advanced age. The oldest known wild individual was 11 years 5 months.