Robins are small insectivorous passerine birds that belong to the family of Turdidae. They are commonly found in all regions of the world except Antarctica and some remote islands. The habitat ranges from solid woodlands, scrubland, forest patches, orchards, gardens, and parks. Robins eat worms and insects that they find on the ground or in dirt unearthed by foraging amongst leaves
Robin Facts for Kids
- Robins raise multiple broods each year.
- The eggs of a robin are light blue in color.
- A Robin will build its nests in a tree.
- Robins roost together in trees. One roost has an estimated 200,000 birds.
- They usually live about six years.
Everything You Need To Know About Robins
1. They’re Less Common In Winter
Of course, all birds are less visible during different parts of the year, and the same is true of these songbirds. You would be incredibly lucky to see one during the winter months because they spend so much of their time in trees, nesting and staying warm.
In fact, they roost together during the winter months and are not as territorial as some might believe (more on that later). These roosts can have up to 200,000 birds. If you glimpse one in winter, you’re very lucky, especially considering some actually migrate south during this time.
2. There Are Plenty Of Breeds
That’s right – these birds have cousins the world over, and each of them has very distinct traits. Whilst they’re all similar in color (gray/brown feathers with a red breast), they behave differently, and most aren’t all that closely related. In the UK, for example, they are notoriously friendly and are unphased when humans approach.
But in most of the rest of Europe, they are easily startled. All of them, including the US variety, are songbirds, though, and although their tunes might differ slightly, most who hear them agree it is beautiful.
3. Their Songs Come In Handy
American robins are especially useful. It is said that they begin their songs right before a storm, before going quiet. The moment the storm disappears, they will start singing again. They really are just little weather-birds and can be especially useful to those working in agriculture and farming should their warnings come quickly enough.
4. They Are Territorial Of Their Area
Contradictory, considering our point earlier, about 200,000 of them roosting together, but they are very territorial. By this, we mean they won’t welcome new robins into their fold easily.
Yes, they will put up with others living nearby if they are used to them, but any new birds on the block and it’s bye-bye birdie. In fact, fights over territory can get especially nasty. Not something you’d expect from our singing symbols of spring!
5. Their Gender Is Easy To Tell
Like most animals, male and female robins are easy to tell apart. The males have more visually striking, bolder colors, and females have slightly duller colors. Males are also notoriously more aggressive than their female counterparts, so if you ever see them in one of their nasty fights over territory, it’s safe to assume that they’re both males.
6. They’re Efficient Hunters
Yes, you might not think of these cute little birds as hunters, but hunt they do! You can often find them hopping around on your lawn or nearby grass, searching for worms. In fact, they love to snatch worms from right out of the ground if they can.
Failing that, they’ll be happy with other insects or fruit, seeds, or nuts – depending on what’s available. As a species that is more tolerable than humans (depending on where you are in the world), we can encourage them to feed at bird feeders if you have one in your outdoor space.
7. They Can Have Up To Three Broods Each Year
In terms of a breeding season, they don’t have a very strict one. Some begin their mating rituals as early as January, although it’s most common in March as spring arrives. Male robins attract females most often in early spring with a song.
The male will then fetch food to their female partner in an attempt to win her affections. If she accepts the food, their bond is strengthened, and they will mate soon after. Their eggs are a light blue, and if mating occurs early enough in the year, females may go on to have three broods.
8. Their Survival Is Often Threatened
Their babies don’t have a particularly significant chance of survival, to begin with, and very few will actually survive into adulthood. When they do, they will survive for an average of six years, although some will die much earlier if they ingest certain pesticides and chemicals from lawns and grass or are killed in territorial disputes or at the hands of predators.
Thankfully though, they are not an endangered species or even particularly threatened in terms of population numbers. But, if you want to help everyone’s favorite spring songbird out, then make sure you use chemicals and pesticides that are marked safe for wildlife!
9. They Really Are A Favorite, All Over The World
In the US, American robins are the state bird of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Connecticut. In the UK, they have been twice named a national bird, although this has never been officially recognized.
Europeans love it when they finally get to glimpse the elusive robin, and the people of Japan welcome the birdsong they bring each spring. They really are popular, no matter where you are in the world.
10. They Can Be Easily Confused
By this, we mean confused themselves, but it’s also very easy for us to confuse them with other songbirds (when we don’t see them, of course, their redbreasts are a huge giveaway).
They can become confused by artificial lighting and will often start to sing in the middle of the night if there is a lot of artificial light around. This, in turn, causes us to confuse them with other songbirds like nightingales, and the vicious cycle of confusion continues!
11. They Communicate Through More Than Just Song
Yes, they do communicate with each other through song, but they have other distinct sounds too. Their most notable, besides their birdsong, is the noise they make when they see a threat. Keen birdwatchers have likened it to being similar to a horse, and it certainly sounds very different from the beautiful songs we are used to hearing from them!
12. They Can Be Recognized Individually
It might take some time, and you’d have to be incredibly patient and armed with a magnifying glass, but every robin has a unique breast pattern. If you come to recognize a robin’s feather pattern on their breast specifically, you could theoretically be able to identify each robin as an individual.
Pretty cool if you have a robin that stays in the trees by your home, for example, although memorizing their breast pattern might be a little time-consuming. Perhaps it’s best to just assume they are the same robin, that way, you don’t waste your time, but you get to keep your little bird friend!
Frequently Asked Questions
What do juvenile robins eat
Juvenile robins eat a variety of insects, worms, snails, and other small invertebrates. Adult robins then shift to a diet of fruits, berries, seeds, and worms. As they get older, they live on a diet of mostly worms and berries.
What birds are robins afraid of
Some of the birds that robins are afraid of are great-horned owls and hawks. Robins often have to deal with a lot of these large animals.
Are Robin birds smart
Robins are not quick to learn new things as they don’t have a great memory to learn. They have a short attention span. They are easily distracted by everything around them. But they are great at interpreting the problems. They are intelligent in their own way.
They are adaptable and can learn to recognize dangers and sounds that they don’t have any experience within their young life. They are capable of changing their behavior, depending on the situation, and think of new ways to get food when there is a shortage of food during the winter months.
Where do robins sleep at night
Robins primarily sleep at night time either in their own nests, or they will find another bird’s nest (often from other species) that suits their needs for that night. They basically need somewhere safe to sleep, and this usually means a place that is high up and hidden from predators.
They find spots in numerous places, including shrubbery, bushes, and trees. A few places where they have been recorded to sleep include inside the spouts of chimneys, on a clothesline, in a bucket, on top of an industrial vent, and even in a pot plant.
Where do robins go in summer
most robins don’t migrate, so in summer, they stay in their usual place and look for food. They are a bit less visible, that’s all.
They have easier access to food in summer, so they don’t need to battle the cold and travel further to feed. They forage out of sight in the undergrowth, and where there are more insects, it’s easy for them to find food. If they have a nest, they will take care of the next generation. They don’t need to fly far because the summer months offer plenty of food closer to home.
Do robins eat earthworms
Yes, robins will eat earthworms. They are very adept at hunting their prey and swallowing them whole. They also feed on insects, seeds, berries, snails, and slugs.