Animals

Facts about American robin

23 facts about American robin

Common migratory songbird

There are many interesting stories about American robins. They travel a lot, sometimes pay unexpected visit to other continent and can cooperate to fend off predators. They even have a color named after them.
1
Its Latin name is Turdus migratorius and it’s a member of Turdidae family.
2
American robins are native to North America.
They can be found from Alaska to northern Mexico.
3
They were given their name by colonial settlers who noticed resemblance to European robin (Erithacus rubecula).
4
They are medium sized birds.
Body length is 23 to 28 cm (9.1 to 11.0 in) and wingspan range from 31 to 41 cm (12 to 16 in). Males are heavier than females. Average weight of this species is 77 g (2.7 oz).
5
Males are more colorful than females.
Juveniles can also be duller regardless of sex.
6
They are migratory birds and can travel a long distance.
Flying a 400 km (250 mi) a day a robin can travel up to 5000 km (3100 mi) during spring migration. Most of the time they travel during day, but sometimes are forced to do additional effort and fly during nighttime.
7
American robin is not a loyal husband.
Because they are migratory birds, they often seek for new partner each season. While trying to impress a female they sing beautiful melodic songs, shake their wings, spread tailfeathers and puff their throats.
8
American robins are omnivorous.
60% of their diet consists of fruits and berries while 40% of small invertebrates like caterpillars, grasshoppers, earthworms and beetle grubs.
9
While hunting, they rely mostly on vision.
Other senses used to locate prey are smell (olfaction) and hearing.
10
Their songs are really complicated and change regarding the time of the day.
11
They are very territorial birds.
Despite their competitive behavior, when faced by predator they can cooperate to fend it off.
12
Breeding season lasts from April to July.
During this time they may have two or even three broods.
13
They tend to build their nests in dense bushes or in a fork of a tree.
American robins are not shy, so they can even construct a nest near human buildings. Their nests are made of twigs, grass, mud, feathers and anything soft they can find (paper, fabric etc.).
14
Female lays from three to five eggs.
Eggs are blue and are incubated by female only. After 14 days of incubation young robins hatch. They are born undeveloped, naked and with closed eyes. It takes them few days to develop all bird features.
15
Young robins leave nest about two weeks after hatching, but mother still takes care of them.
Mother feeds them with earthworms, insects and berries.
16
It is common, that Brown-headed cowbirds lay their eggs in robin nests.
Study shows that it’s not easy to fool a robin and, in most cases, future parent get rid of unwanted eggs from its nest.
17
They are being hunted by hawks, snakes and domestic cats mostly.
Only 25 % of young birds survive the first year.
18
Longest living American robin in the wild was 14 but average lifespan of those birds is 2.
19
They are vagrant species and sometimes pay a visit to Europe.
In Great Britain for example more than 20 visits has been recorded.
20
There are seven subspecies of this bird:
  • the Eastern robin,
  • the Newfoundland robin,
  • the Southern robin,
  • the Northwestern robin,
  • the Western robin,
  • the San Lucas robin,
  • the Mexican robin.
21
There are about 320 million of this birds, so they are not an endangered species.
IUCN lists robins as LC (least concern).
22
American Robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin.
23
There is a color named by robin egg color, it’s name is… what a surprise: robin egg blue.
It is a shade of cyan. The term was used first time in 1873.