How did these wild animals become part of ourfestive traditions and
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
No other bird invokes the spirit of Christmas and winter like the robin.
Perhaps it is becauserobins are one of the only UK birds that can be heard
singing in the garden on Christmas day,warning off intruders from their
territories with melodic song. Or is it their bright red breasts,which give a
splash of colour and hope in the bleak midwinter?
Robins started to appear on Christmas cards in the mid-1800s after they
gave their name tosome of the first postal employees who wore red jackets, and
who were often referred to as'robins’. On some of these early cards, the robin
was often pictured carrying an envelope orpostcard in its bill, delivering it
like a postman.
Simply put, the robin gave its name to the postman and the postman gave its
role to the robin.Every year since, robins have adorned our Christmas cards,
stamps and other festivedecorations.
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)
Children still wait excitedly for Dasher, Prancer and the other flying
reindeer that pulled SantaClaus’s sleigh round the world to deliver their
Most likely these magical deer made it into festive lore because of the
1823 poem titled TheNight Before Christmas. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was a
20th-century addition to theteam, lighting the way on a foggy Christmas Eve.
驯鹿最有可能是因1823年的一首题为《圣诞前夕》（The Night Before
Reindeer, or caribou as they are known in North America, can outperform all
other large landanimals with their energy efficiency – so really are a fitting
choice as the legendary Christmassleigh-pullers. Since their domestication
reindeer have been a sled-puller of choice for manypeople in the Polar
They are able to survive in the extreme cold and snow of the Arctic,
withstanding extremetemperatures as low as -40°C thanks to their compact bodies,
warm insulating fur and largehooves.
Rather than flying through the air on Christmas Eve, reindeer are more
usually seen on theirmammoth annual migration to the Arctic, during which the
North American herds might travelfor more than 5,000km.
This extraordinary feat that can see them travel further than any other
land mammal, so theyare the best contender for being able to deliver presents
all over the world in just one night!
Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
For many a traditional Christmas dinner would not be the same without a
turkey and all thetrimmings. In England it first replaced meats such as peacock,
boar and goose in the 16th-century, after King Henry the VIII was said to have
dined on turkey as part of his Christmasfeast. But it did not start to gain
popularity until the Victorian times.
Henry the VIII）把火鸡肉纳入他的圣诞大餐之后。但直到维多利亚时代，这一习俗才渐渐普及开来。
Native to the Americas, explorers brought wild turkeys to Europe, and their
domestication wasso successful that English settlers actually took them back to
America to farm.
Turkeys are the largest member of the game bird family, which also includes
partridges, grouseand pheasants. During the breeding season, or when they get
excited, the colour of their headcan change through shades of red, white and
Beyond the festive period, turkeys are perhaps best known for the
'gobbling’ calls made by themales to attract a mate, leading to the name