American Robin

Turdus migratorius

Peter Weber, www.wildbirdphotos.com

The American Robin is one of our most recognizable birds. It grows up to 11 inches long, and has a gray back and wings with a red breast. The robin's head and tail are black.

Young American Robins have a spotted breast instead of red.

This bird lives in woods, gardens, towns, lawns, and fields. This bird usually migrates (flies South for the Winter), but in Virginia they live year-round.

Copyright, Peter LaTourrette, http://birdphotography.com

Mark Moran

American Robins begin breeding in early Spring. The female builds a nest with help from the male. It is a cup-shaped nest, constructed with grass, twigs, feathers, and paper, then packed with mud. The nest is usually located in a dense shrub or tree.

Three to five blue-green eggs are laid. They take about two weeks to hatch. The female cares for the young, sometimes with help from the male.

American Robins have two broods (batches of young) per year.

American Robins eat a wide variety of foods, especially fruits and insects. Some of their diet includes: chokecherries, grapes, cherries, blueberries, Poison Ivy, hawthorn fruits, grasshoppers, earthworms, beetle grubs, caterpillars, cutworms, small snakes, mollusks, fish fry (baby fish), and various insects.

American Robins sometimes wade belly deep in water to catch very small fish. They also will catch insects in the air, as well as off the ground.

American Robins sometimes flock with Blue Jays. They also are known to roost (build nests close together in the same area) with Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and European Starlings.

American Robins will often re-use an old nest from the year before, or they will borrow an old nest of a Gray Catbird, Eastern Phoebe, Common Grackle, or Baltimore Oriole.

They are also seen eating with Cedar Waxwings.

Copyright, Wolfgang Wunder

Copyright, Dr. Dan Sudia

Sometimes robins get kicked out of their nests by House Sparrows or Mourning Doves. These birds will build their nests over top of the robins' nests, covering up the eggs.

American Robins have many predators, including: owls, hawks, raccoons, snakes, chipmunks, squirrels, crows, Blue Jays, and Common Grackles. Many are also killed by house cats.

Robins help plants spread by pooping out seeds after they have eaten fruit. The seeds can then grow in new places.

Mark Moran

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
American Robin Song
Sound
Unknown
American Robin Coloring Page
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Earthworm

Red-tailed Hawk

Witch Hazel

Blue Jay Mu

Highbush Blueberry

Sharp-shinned Hawk

American Holly

Cedar Waxwing Mu

Evergreen Blackberry

Barred Owl

Sassafras

Common Grackle Mu SP

Wild Grape

Great Horned Owl

Eastern Redcedar

European Starling Mu

Poison Ivy

Raccoon

Smooth Crabgrass

Red-winged Blackbird Mu

Differential Grasshopper

Black Rat Snake

White Oak

Eastern Phoebe SP

Field Cricket

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Greenbrier

Gray Catbird SP

Black Cherry

Common Crow

Flowering Dogwood

Baltimore Oriole SP

Northern Ringneck Snake

Eastern Chipmunk

Smooth Sumac

House Sparrow EC

Creek Chub

Blue Jay

Loblolly Pine

Mourning Dove EC

Leopard Slug

Common Grackle

Common Elderberry

Wild Grape D

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

Switchgrass

Highbush Blueberry D

Common Black Ground Beetle

Evergreen Blackberry

Evergreen Blackberry D

Rabid Wolf Spider

Green Hawthorn

Black Cherry D

Garden Centipede

American Hornbeam

Poison Ivy D

North American Millipede

Climbing Bittersweet

Chigger Pa

Flowering Dogwood

Eastern Redcedar D

Eastern Redcedar

Pokeweed D

Pokeweed

Smooth Sumac D

Dogwood Borer

European Starling Mu

Relationship to Humans:

American Robins entertain people with their songs, by building nests close to houses, and by looking for and eating food on peoples lawns and gardens. They also are helpful in controlling insect populations. Sometimes robins are considered pests when they are in large numbers around berry crops.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bird
ORDER
Passeriformes
FAMILY
Turdidae
GENUS
Turdus
SPECIES
Turdus migratorius

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