American Robin

Robin Redbreast

The American Robin can be found throughout North America some time during the year. Male robins have a dark gray to almost black back and tail with a rust/brick colored breast. The female is paler all over. The juvenile robins have a spotted breast.

Only the male robin sings, but both sexes have calls and alarm notes. You typically hear the robin in the spring first thing in the morning and last thing before dark.

Robins are attracted to open lawns and gardens with mature shrubbery and trees. While they eat a variety of insects and berries, it has been noted that robins can eat up to 14 feet of earthworms in a day!

Robins find earthworms by cocking their head to the side so that they can see. They have monocular vision, which means their eyes are on the sides of the head, and each eye can be used independently. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t hear the earthworms. You will likely find robins in your yard after a rain, after the sprinkler has been on, or even after the lawn has been mowed, as this brings out the worms and insects. Worms make up about 15% to 20% of the summer diet for robins.

Robins can be attracted to a feeding station by offering mealworms, fruit and a birdbath. It’s especially fun to offer mealworms during nesting season when the robins can stop and pick up a mouthful of tasty worms to take back to their babies. They will fill their mouth until you think nothing else could possibly fit inside and still continue to try to pick up more, dropping some in the process, and then trying to pick those back up. It can be very entertaining!

Robins live on average about one-and a half years, but can live up to five years. They typically nest April through May and can have two to three broods in a season. The female does most of the nest building. It typically takes about five to six days to build the nest. Put out a small pan of mud and nesting materials (short strings, yarn, dry grasses) and watch the robins collect materials to make their nests. Robins lay about four eggs and the female incubates the eggs for 12-14 days. Both parents guard the nest from danger. The babies are fully feathered in about 10 days and leave the nest in 14-16 days.