American Robin
Turdus migratorius
Population size
310-320 Mlnlnn
Life Span
2-14 years
Top speed
km/h mph 
g oz 
cm inch 
cm inch 

The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird that belongs to the thrush family. It is named after the European robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related. According to the Partners in Flight database (2019), the American robin is the most abundant bird in North America ahead of Red-winged blackbirds, introduced European starlings, Mourning doves and House finches.


The American robin has a brown back and a reddish-orange breast, varying from a rich red maroon to peachy orange. The head varies from jet black to gray, with white eye arcs and the throat is white with black streaks. Its belly and undertail coverts are white. The bill is mainly yellow with a variably dark tip, the dusky area becoming more extensive in winter, and the legs and feet are brown. The male and the female are similar, but the female tends to be duller than the male, with a brown tint to the head, brown upperparts, and less-bright underparts. The juvenile is paler in color than the adult male and has dark spots on its breast and whitish wing coverts.




American robins breed throughout most of North America, from Alaska and Canada southward to northern Florida and Mexico. While some birds occasionally overwinter in the northern part of the United States and southern Canada, most migrate to winter south of Canada from Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico, as well as along the Pacific Coast. American robins inhabit dense forests, woodlands, tundra, shrubland, and more open farmland. They are also common in gardens, orchards, and city parks.

American Robin habitat map
American Robin habitat map
American Robin
Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

Habits and Lifestyle

American robins are active mostly during the day, and on their winter grounds, they assemble in large flocks at night to roost in trees in secluded swamps or dense vegetation. The flocks break up during the day when the birds feed on fruits and berries in smaller groups. During the summer, American robins defend their breeding territory and are less social. These birds forage primarily on the ground for soft-bodied invertebrates, and find worms by sight (and sometimes by hearing), pouncing on them and then pulling them up. They are frequently seen running across lawns picking up earthworms, and their running and stopping behavior is a distinguishing characteristic. American robins are often among the first songbirds singing as dawn rises or hours before, and last as evening sets in. They usually sing from a high perch in a tree. Males have a complex and almost continuous song that is commonly described as a 'cheerily' carol. American robins also communicate with various calls used in specific situations; when a ground predator approaches and when a nest or another American robin is being directly threatened. Even during nesting season, when these birds become very territorial, they may still band together to drive away a predator.

Group name
Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

American robins are omnivores. They feed on small invertebrates (mainly insects), such as earthworms, beetle grubs, caterpillars, and grasshoppers, and wild and cultivated fruits and berries. Nestlings are fed mainly on earthworms and other soft-bodied animal prey. In some areas, robins feed on beaches, taking insects and small mollusks.

Mating Habits

14 days
4 weeks
3-5 eggs

American robins are serially monogamous and usually form pair bonds that last only during one breeding season. They begin to breed shortly after returning to their summer range. They normally have 2 to 3 broods per breeding season, which lasts from April to July. Their nest is most commonly located 1.5-4.5 m (4.9-14.8 ft) above the ground in a dense bush or in a fork between two tree branches and is built by the female alone. The outer foundation consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers. This is lined with smeared mud and cushioned with fine grass or other soft materials. A new nest is built for each brood. The female lays 3 to 5 light blue eggs and incubates them alone for about 14 days. The chicks are altricial; they are hatched blind and naked. While the chicks are still young, the mother broods them continuously. When they are older, the mother will brood them only at night or during bad weather. The chicks leave the nest 2 weeks after hatching, however, they still follow their parents around begging for food. After leaving the nest the fledglings are able to fly short distances and it only takes a couple of weeks for them to become proficient at flying.


Population threats

American robins are abundant and widespread throughout their range, however, they are vulnerable to pesticide poisoning, climate changes, severe weather, and predation.

Population number

According to the What Bird resource, the total population size of the American robin is around 320 million birds. According to the All About Birds resource the total breeding population size of this species is 310 million breeding birds. Overall, currently, American robins are classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and their numbers today are increasing.

Ecological niche

American robins control insect populations and disperse the seeds of the fruits they eat. They also serve as an important food source to local predators including squirrels, snakes, crows, cats, foxes, dogs, raccoons, weasels, and especially raptors.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The American robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • American robins have the ability to hunt by hearing and can find earthworms underground by simply using their listening skills. The bird typically will take several short hops and then cock its head left, right, or forward to detect the movement of its prey.
  • In urban areas, American robins often gather in numbers soon after lawns are mowed or where sprinklers are in use. These are areas where they like to forage.
  • American robins sing when storms approach and again when storms have passed.
  • Both American robin parents protect and feed their fledged chicks until they learn to forage on their own. At any sight of danger, the adult robin gives alarm calls to the chicks and dives in a threatening manner toward potential predators, such as approaching cats, dogs, and humans.

Coloring Pages


1. American Robin on Wikipedia -
2. American Robin on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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