American Robin (Turdus migratorius)


Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family:    Turdidae
Size:    Length: 10 inches (25 cm)
Weight: 2 1/3 to 3 ounces (64.8 to 84.2 g) 
Diet: Insects, earthworms, fruit and berries
Distribution: North America and Central America, south to Guatemala
Young:  3 to 5 chicks, 2 to 3 times per year
Animal Predators:  Domestic cats, bobcats, owls, raccoons, foxes, hawks and snakes
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: Young: Chick
Lifespan: Up to 13 years in the wild and up to 17 years in captivity



·      The American robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin.

·      Robins are commonly known as one of the first signs of spring.

·      Robins return to the same general area each spring and may even use the same nest.

·     Other names for this bird are “Robin redbreast,” “Canada robin” and “common robin.”

·      The American robin’s song is a variable “cheerily cheer-up cheerio.”



Males have a dark-grey head and back and a bright orange-red underbelly and throat, while females have a light-grey head and are lighter coloured. Both males and females have a yellow bill, strong, hopping legs and a white undertail. American robins were given their name by early North American settlers because of their similarity to the English robin, although American robins are much larger and are actually more closely related to the blackbirds of England than to English robins. 



Robins can be found nearly everywhere in North America, including Mexico and also as far south as Guatemala. Migratory birds, they begin to head to the southern U.S. in September, returning as early as February. They can be found almost anywhere, from forests to cities, as long as there are trees. 


Feeding Habits

The robin’s diet consists mainly of insects, earthworms and berries. They are not found as often as other birds at feeders, but are sure to come if chopped bits of orange, tomato or apple are left out for them. 



In the spring, male robins arrive first and establish their territories. Breeding season lasts from April to July with two or three clutches laid. The female builds a cup-shaped nest made of twigs, grass and mud, high up in the branches of a tree or in a sheltered windowsill. The female sits on the pale blue eggs for 12 to 14 days until the chicks hatch. At this point, both parents take an active role in feeding the young, who need as many as 100 meals per day. The young robins have speckled breasts. It is a common misconception that once humans have touched a baby bird, the parents will reject it. Actually, baby birds that have fallen out of their nest and been placed back in by humans are warmly welcomed by their parents, who are quite frantic when they lose any of their chicks.



Robins have a variety of sounds, from alarm calls to songs. 



American robins are protected throughout their entire range and are not a conservation concern. 



Harrison, C. and Greensmith, A. (1993). Birds of the World. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (1999)