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Facts About the American Robin

Renuka Savant
The American Robin is known as the harbinger of spring season. We've lined up some interesting facts about American robins.

Did You Know?

Comic book lore tells us that Batman's sidekick, Robin had been nicknamed so by his mother because he was born on the first day of spring―an allusion to the American robin.
The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory bird belonging to the thrush family. Its habitat extends across North America, down towards central Mexico, and along the Pacific Coast.
The American robin was named so by the European settlers, who found more than a passing resemblance to the European robin owing to its reddish-orange breast. Both species, however, are not closely related to each other. The bird has several pleasing vocalizations which has made it quite popular among other North American birds.


American robins are recognized by their reddish-hued plumage and distinctive song. These birds have managed to adapt into human habitat, and garner considerable popularity.

Physical Appearance

✦ Adult robins have a dark gray back. The head, wings, and tail are darker, almost black in appearance. The outer tail feathers are tipped with white. A striking coloring of rich dark brick red is visible on the breast, especially in males, whereas the females are colored lighter. Their throats are streaked black and white, (again, more pronounced in males) and their lower belly is white.


✦ The American robin's song is described to be cheerily. Their varied vocalizations include a rich, warbled song composed of long phrases, "whinny" and "tut" calls, along with several other complex ones.
✦ The song period lasts from early spring (March), extending throughout the summer until late July or early August. Sometimes, they can be heard even into September or beyond, especially in the east. One can hear them particularly during the hours of dawn and dusk.


✦ These birds are one of the first among other North American bird species to lay eggs. The eggs have a distinctive blue-colored shell. They normally have 2 to 3 broods per breeding season, which lasts from April to July.
✦ A new nest is built for each brood, and it is entirely done by the female. They prefer to nest in thick bushes or tree branches, about 5 to 15 feet above the ground.
✦ Robins have also known to nest close to human presence, especially under awnings or on lofts if they deem the place to be cozy and safe enough.
✦ One clutch may comprise 3 to 5 blue-colored eggs. They take about a fortnight to hatch, and the chicks leave the nest another two weeks later.
✦ Juveniles follow the parents for a few days after leaving the nest. They also depend on them for food. It takes another two weeks for them to become completely independent.


✦ Their diet comprises large quantities of worms and other invertebrates. They also consume berries and fruit. At times, they go overboard with the consumption of honeysuckle berries and tend to become intoxicated.
✦ Because the robin forages mainly on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and is seen as an indicator of chemical pollution.

Random facts

✦ Robins have sturdy legs with corresponding muscles assisting them while running or hopping. This feature allows them to speedily evade predators and efficiently cover open ground while hunting.

✦ Some robins may appear partially or completely white. This condition is caused by albinism.
✦ In the wild, the average robin may live up to the age of one year. However, if they manage to survive their first year, their lifespan can extend to 5 - 7 years, considering the number of survival skills they pick up.

✦ Their predators include foxes, bobcats, hawks, and owls. Crows and blue jays often take their eggs and babies.
The American robin was once killed for its meat, but is now protected across the United States by the Migratory Bird Act. Its extensive range and large population suggest that the species does not face a threat for survival.