Fun Facts About The American Robin

Find out more about a frequently seen bird about town.

American Robin

  • The American Robin is a member of the thrush family, which also includes bluebirds, solitaires and the wood thrushes.
  • The American Robin can be found throughout North America at 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. 
  • American Robins living in the western states tend to be paler in color and often lack the white markings on the outer corners of their tail.
  • Male robins that migrate usually arrive on the breeding grounds up to two weeks before the females return.
  • While they eat a variety of insects and berries, it has been noted that robins can eat up to 14’ of earthworms in a day! 
  • Worms only make up about 15%-20% of the summer diet for American Robins.
  • Robins don’t find earthworms by hearing or smelling them. Robins find earthworms by cocking their head to one side, independently using each eye to look for visible signs of worms. 
  • You will likely find robins in your yard after a rain or after the sprinkler has been on or even after the lawn has been mowed, as this brings worms and insects to the surface.
  • Robins change their feeding habits depending on the time of day as they will eat more earthworms early in the day, when they are easier to find, and then switch to fruit later in the day.
  • Unlike most birds, robins do not lay their eggs at sunrise. They lay their eggs several hours later during the mid-morning. Since earthworms are easier to find in the early morning, they feed first thing in the morning and then return to their nest to lay their egg.
  • Robins typically nest from April through July and can have 2-3 broods in a season. The female does the nest building and incubates the eggs alone. Upon hatching, both parents feed the average brood of four young.
  • Robins usually return to the same area to nest each year and may occasionally use last year’s nest again after some renovation.
  • Robins are particularly vulnerable to pesticide poisoning due to their preference for foraging on lawns.