Check out all our detailed bird profiles to learn even more about all your favorite birds! The female parent does the majority of the incubation for 12-14 days, and she is also responsible for most of the feeding during the 14-16 days of the nestling stage before juvenile birds are ready to leave the nest. These thrushes have a long, straight, yellow bill with a slight hook at the tip, and an upright posture with a deep belly and classic passerine shape. Robins feed on fruits and berries (especially in fall and winter), earthworms, snails, spiders, and insects such as grubs, caterpillars, and grasshoppers. During the breeding season, American robins are largely solitary or may stay in pairs. Pairs of robins will produce 2-3 broods of 3-8 pale blue eggs each during their annual breeding season. In late winter, male American Robins begin to sing their cheerful, caroling song (cheerily cheer-up … American robins are frequently found in open areas, including gardens, parks, yards, and golf courses. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, state birds of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin, attack their own reflections in glass windows or chrome car bumpers, turning their heads to look for worms and insects, Overuse of pesticides can be hazardous to robins. While robins are best known for their worm-loving appetite, they also eat many other types of insects. Photo by Shanshan0312, Shutterstock. It is one of the first birds to sing in the morning, often beginning well before dawn, and one of the last to be heard at night. Nest: Three to four pastel-blue eggs are laid in a neat deep cup made of mud and grass. The robin’s song is familiar to many birders with its high, varied pitch warble. They may also nest in the crooks of gutter downspouts, on top of sheltered birdhouses, or in other unusual locations. Northern populations are short- to medium-distance migrants, and two nonmigratory subspecies are resident in Mexico. (Audio of American Robin by Antonio Xeira XC383961, accessible at; audio of  Scarlet Tanager by Daniel Lane XC101898, accessible at; audio of  Rose-breasted Grosbeak by Todd Wilson XC43406, accessible at Although its populations are increasing, it remains vulnerable to many of the same factors threatening less adaptable species. The American Robin is one of North America's most widespread, familiar, and well-loved songbirds. American Robin pairs remain together for that year's nesting. The Turdidae bird family includes more than 175 species, including different thrushes, bluebirds, and solitaires. You can compare these songs below. This fact sheet explores all that makes American robins distinctive and interesting. Juveniles look similar to adults but show pale whitish spotting or short streaks on the upperparts and gray or gray-black spotting on the underparts. Often believed to be the “first bird of spring,” the American robin is actually one of the most common and familiar backyard birds all year long. American Robins are social birds, especially during the winter, when they gather in large night roosts of up to 250,000 birds. American Robin chicks in nest. This fact sheet explores all that makes American robins distinctive and interesting. This information is used to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Collisions with windows, communications towers, and car strikes are other common hazards. The American Robin has a very large breeding range, encompassing a wide variety of open woods and edge habitats from northern Alaska, across Canada, down through the lower 48 United States, and into mountainous areas of Mexico. Seven American Robin subspecies are recognized, based on differences in body size and plumage color. Robins are especially attracted to bird baths and dust bath areas and may visit open sunny spots for sunbathing. Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius. They may perch on fences and posts, and will often be found in orchards or berry patches. Although they mainly glean food from the ground, robins also perch in trees while feeding on fruit and can catch flying insects in midair. During short winter days, smaller groups break off to forage for food, rejoining the roost in the evening. Distinctive Markings: Male has orange breast, black head and tail, yellow bill, white around eyes and on throat. They can be found throughout the continental United States and central Mexico year-round in urban, suburban, and forest habitats. If conditions allow, a robin pair will raise two or three broods per season. Scientific name: Turdus migratorius Common name: American Robin (Information for this Species Page was compiled by Sarah Allison for Biology 220W at Penn State New Kensington in Spring 2000) The American robin is one of the most widely recognized birds in North America. Since American Robins forage and feed on the ground, they are especially vulnerable to predation by outdoor cats. Nests are most often built 5 to 15 feet off the ground in a tree fork, in a densely foliated shrub, or on a window ledge or other sheltered structure. Unlike many other birds, the American Robin seems to have benefited from urbanization and agricultural development. Genders are similar though females can appear fainter or less colorful. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). While these birds will stay year-round where food sources are abundant, populations in southern Canada and the extreme southern United States do migrate seasonally. Often believed to be the first bird of spring, the American robin is actually one of the most common and familiar backyard birds all year long. With distinct colors and interesting behavior, these members of the Turdidae bird family are one of the most beloved wild birds, and they are recognized as the state birds of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These indistinct markings help camouflage the young birds until they can better care for themselves, and within a few weeks after leaving the nest, the spots will fade. The quintessential early bird, American Robins are common sights on lawns across North America, where you often see them tugging earthworms out of the ground. (Audio of American Robin by Antonio Xeira XC383961, accessible at. The female chooses the nest site and builds the cup-shaped nest, making a new one for each clutch of three to four sky-blue eggs. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. We also offer tips on improving your backyard habitat to make it more welcoming year-round to the American Robin and other birds. In winter, when insects are absent from many areas, they will switch to eating fruits, berries, and nuts. A low “hip-hip-hip” call is also frequently used. Roland Jordahl Roland Jordahl American Robin. Multiple broods are more likely for southern populations where the climate is more favorable for a long reproductive season. BIRD OF THE WEEK: July 5, 2019 SCIENTIFIC NAME: Turdus migratorius POPULATION: 380 million TREND: Increasing HABITAT: Suburban and agricultural areas, open woodlands. Family: Thrush. The American Robin is one of the species that is clearly showing northward shifts in its distribution as a result of global warming. American robins will even visit feeders to snack on suet, particularly during cold snaps when the extra fat and calories are necessary to maintain adequate body heat. Birders interested in learning more about related birds should investigate the eastern bluebird, as well as take steps to attract more thrushes to their yard. The American Robin is especially vocal during the spring and summer. Although originally a bird of forest clearings, this species adapted particularly well to the widespread settlement and clearing of forest and grassland that occurred over the last few centuries. In late winter, male American Robins begin to sing their cheerful, caroling song (cheerily cheer-up cheerio…), a sure harbinger of springtime for many. The early chorus continues through spring, into summer. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Top 15 Most Popular Bird Species in North America. In addition, this species has a variety of distinctive calls, including a shrill cheep alarm call and a low tuktuktuk when disturbed.