The American robin is one of the most widely recognized and well-known birds in North America. American robins are monogamous and typically form pairs during the breeding season. The American robin has a red breast like a brick, and its wings, head, and back are grey. Its head can be black or grey, and it has white arcs around its eyes. Males have darker white with black streaks on the throat than the female robin.

Scientific name: Turdus migratorius

Color: American robins are Grayish-brown in color with dark heads and warm orange chest

Size: Adult robin is 20-28 cm long with wingspan size of 31-40 cm

Weight: 77-85 gms

Lifespan: 2-14 years

Class: Aves (warm-blooded vertebrates)

Family: Turdidae

American robin diet: During the onset of summer, the primary portion of its diet consists of insects, snails, earthworms, spiders, and other invertebrates. As winter approaches, it shifts its focus to consuming fruits like wild berries, along with consumption of cultivated fruits.

Habitat: American robins are native to North America and can be found in a wide variety of habitats. These habitats include woodlands, parks, gardens, and suburban areas. They can be found frequently in both rural and urban surroundings. They are present throughout the continental United States, while some migrate to Alaska for the summer months.

Here are 10 amazing American robin facts for you to know:

1) Robin is the state bird of Michigan and many other states

American robin

The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is cherished by many states across America, holding a unique significance in their hearts. In 1931, the American robin received over 100,000 votes from children in Michigan and later got adopted as its state bird. Robins are often associated with the changing seasons, and their arrival signals the end of winter and onset of spring. Their melodious calls add to the natural symphony of Michigan’s woodlands and gardens.

In 1943, the American robin received official recognition as the state bird of Connecticut. Connecticut residents appreciate the robin’s cheerful song and its role as a harbinger of warmer weather. Later in 1949, Wisconsin also declared robins as state birds which are mostly found in their neighbourhoods, parks, and rural areas. It is also the state bird of Vermont and Oregon. The reason for it is vital role of American robin in the traditions of many indigenous cultures in North America.

2) American robins can get drunk by eating berries

American robins sometimes get into funny situations! Once, in September, a bunch of them gathered in cherry trees by the road. They got noisy, and their usual loud calls turned into a big fight. One robin even hit another one while they were flying, making it fall about ten feet before it could fly again. Later, someone found a robin sitting strangely, with its eyes closed and leaning to one side.

It opened its eyes, straightened up, then slowly leaned to the other side. The place smelled like cherries that had gone a bit bad, and the robin’s behaviour suggested it had eaten too many fermented cherries. Tests showed that berries from an Ilex shrub had enough alcohol to make the birds drunk, which could make them act strangely or even hurt themselves badly. So, if you ever see a robin bird drunk, blame it on the cherries—they’re the real reason behind these funny bird adventures!

3) Robin roosts can be huge about millions of birds during winter

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During winter, robins abandon their territorial nature and form roaming groups to gorge on berries. Regardless of the external temperature, they maintain a steady body temperature of around 104 degrees Fahrenheit. To combat the cold, they employ shivering to generate heat and fluff their feathers to create a protective barrier against the elements. This rigorous temperature regulation demands significant energy, sourced from their food.

In 2007, observers near St. Petersburg, Florida, witnessed an astonishing sight: approximately 720,000 robins gathered on a mangrove island. Calculations based on the average weight of a robin (2.7 ounces) reveal a staggering mass of nearly 61 tons of birds! In the summer, female robins tend to their nests while males congregate at roosting sites. As fledglings reach independence, they join the male groups, while adult females only join the roosts after completing their nesting duties.

4) American robin meat was actually considered a delicacy

In the 19th century, American robins were highly esteemed as a delicacy. Connoisseurs of the time cherished the unique flavor of robin meat, often serving it in the form of Robin pie. The consumption of robins played a vital role in their diminishing numbers, prompting the implementation of protective measures. However, as culinary preferences evolved, the cultural significance of robin led to a decline in its popularity.

Presently, robins are designated as a protected migratory bird species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Activities that pose harm to robins, such as hunting or consumption, are strictly prohibited by law. According to Wehman’s cookbook in 1890, 10-12 robins with bacon fat and beef were being served in a single pie. Let us admire robins for their vibrant presence and enchanting songs rather than considering them for culinary purposes!

5) A female robin may lay up to three broods of eggs!

From April to June, American robins find mates for just one breeding season. Male robins sing, show off their feathers, and bring gifts like caterpillars to impress females. When a female accepts, she flutters her wings and demands the gifts like caterpillars and worms loudly. Robins build their cup-shaped round nests out of twigs, grass, leaves, and mud. The length of an American robin egg is 1.1-1.2 inches and the width is about 0.8 inches.

The weight of a Robin egg is about 0.54 gm which takes 12-14 days to incubate. After that, she takes care of the babies while the male finds food. This teamwork helps the baby American robin to grow strong and healthy. In a normal year, robins raise two to three broods of chicks. Occasionally, a fourth brood may occur, although it’s not very common. Sometimes there are 5, but this is rare and usually occurs when one robin sneaks an egg into another robin’s nest.

6) The longest-living recorded American robin was nearly fourteen years old

American robins babies confront various threats that can affect their longevity. Predation stands out as a significant risk, with cats, hawks, and snakes among their potential predators. Factors like habitat quality, food availability, and predation hazards play pivotal roles in determining their survival. Additionally, collisions with human-made structures, such as windows and vehicles, further endanger their existence. Despite these challenges, some American robins manage to live longer lives.

On average, if a robin survives until its first midwinter, it can expect to live around 1.7 years. Only 25% of all American robins make it past their first year. In the wild, their average lifespan is just two years, but there are exceptions. One particularly resilient robin, for instance, was recorded to have lived to the age of 13 years and 11 months. Most robins live relatively short lives, a few defy the odds and persevere as seasoned veterans of the avian world.

7) These birds help in controlling insect and tree populations

American robins are skilled at hunting insects. While they are primarily known for their diet of fruits and berries, especially in the warmer months, they are also opportunistic insect hunters. They forage on the ground, using their keen eyesight to spot insects like worms, beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. Their ability to efficiently hunt insects helps supplement their diet, especially during the breeding season when they need extra protein to feed their young.

Ecosystems need to stay balanced to stay healthy. Every living thing has a job to do in keeping this balance, and the American Robin is no different. They help by spreading seeds and eating bugs, which keeps everything in check. Protecting American Robins is key to making sure this balance stays intact and our ecosystems stay healthy. American robins make their homes in lots of different places like forests, gardens, orchards, lawns, and fields. American robin nests help to create little homes for other animals too.

8) Robin families are beautiful songbirds

The Eastern Robin is a small bird from North America, and they can sing delightful melodies. They sing to talk to other robins and to protect their home. This avian species also exhibits a talent for mimicking the tunes of other birds. The North Western Robin is small and has reddish-brown feathers with white spots on its chest. They are famous for their lovely singing and are frequently heard chirping away in the early morning.

Robins don’t live very long because they often fight with each other. The fights usually start with male robins singing loudly to each other. They try to find high places to show off their red chests, which can be a sign of danger. Even in winter, robins are one of the few birds still singing, which is why people often think of them during Christmas. American robin call is the first thing you hear in the morning and might be the last to stop at night. Thus, we can see many families of Robins in America are beautiful songbirds.

9) American Robin has the most beautiful egg

Not every bird has the privilege of having a color named after the hue of its eggs. The most beautiful Robin eggs have a distinctive greenish-blue color, often referred to as “robin egg blue”. This colour varies slightly among individual eggs, with some appearing paler or adorned with subtle brown freckles. The distinct blue coloration of American robin eggs is predominantly attributed to a pigment known as biliverdin. Upon laying her eggs, a female robin imparts this antioxidant and bile pigment onto the eggshell.

This blue hue acts as a safeguarding layer for the growing embryo nestled within the egg. Some theories propose that the unique blue hue of the American robin’s eggs might function as a type of camouflage. By harmonizing with their environment, these eggs may evade detection by predators with sharp vision. Consequently, the striking blue colour aids in the survival and safeguarding of the American robin species.

10) American robin female and male look very similar

American robin female and male look almost the same. This is because they share similar physical traits. This is called “sexual monomorphism.” In simple terms, it means there are hardly any differences between males and females in how they look. Both male and female American Robins usually have brownish-grey backs, reddish-orange chests, and white bellies. Male robins usually have blacker wings and tail feathers, while females generally have a more charcoal-colored plumage.

During the summer, female robins often move to a neighboring nesting area. While male robins typically stay in the same territory all year round. This lack of big differences between males and females probably happens because both parents help with raising their babies. They both build nests, sit on the eggs, and feed the chicks. Also, looking alike might help them get along better during breeding and when they’re protecting their territory. People who pay close attention can tell them apart when they see them outside.


Q. How much time passes before a baby robin emerges from its egg?

A. Typically, the initial hatchling emerges 12-14 days following the laying of the final egg. Generally, eggs hatch approximately a day apart, following the sequence of their laying.

Q. What steps should I take if I come across an injured or abandoned baby robin?

A. Keeping in mind state and federal regulations in the United States, it’s unlawful to keep any wild native American bird in captivity. The responsibility of caring for a wild bird lies solely with licensed rehabilitators. While it may not be feasible to rescue every injured or abandoned bird, the priority should be to promptly transfer it to a licensed rehabilitation facility.

Q. How do baby robins appear upon hatching from their eggs?

A. When they first hatch, they only have a few bits of fluff, but more soft feathers grow in quickly. These feathers make them look fluffy and help keep them warm when their mom isn’t around. As they grow, their body feathers start out like tiny straws and then open up as they develop. After about 14 days, they’re covered in body feathers. Baby robins are born with closed eyes, and they stay shut for about five days.

Q. American robin is the symbol of what?

A. An American Robin represents family, community, enjoying the moment, springtime, starting fresh, singing joyfully, feeling thankful, and abundance.

Q. Are robin birds aggressive?

A. Robins, often perceived as tame and friendly, actually possess a fiercely territorial nature, making them one of the most aggressive birds, especially towards their own kind. They vigorously defend their territory year-round, showing little tolerance for any other robin encroaching upon their patch of turf.

Read more: American robin: 10 amazing facts for you.

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