Britain chose the European Robin Erithacus rubecula as their national bird in the 1960s. The bird is lovely, has a beautiful singing voice, and is very protective over its territory.
The bird is well known to gardeners, as it enjoys poking around for worms and insects in gardens. They enjoy fruits and berries as well. They are fairly small and both sexes look alike. Parents may raise up to 3 batches of young each year.
The European Robin was featured in a main way in the movie Gladiator. At the very beginning of the movie, General Maximus is preparing for the battle. He comes across a European Robin, which sits and watches him for a while before flying away. Maximus watches it leave. With the fierce territoriality of this bird, it both represented the gardens of Maximus' home, and the determination of the Germans to protect their homeland. More about birding in Gladiator.
The English love writing poetry about birds, and the robin is no exception:
Call for the Robin Redbreast and the Wren
Proud Maisie - a Robin Poem
American Robin Information