About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

American Robin

American Robin Turdus migratorius
Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Thrushes (Turdidae)

Description:
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. It is a member of the thrush family, which also includes bluebirds, solitaires and the wood thrushes.

General:
The American Robin was named by early colonists for the European Robin they left behind. The two are only distantly related, but both have red breasts. Robins are attracted to open lawns and gardens with mature shrubbery and trees. 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!

Behavior:
While the majority of American Robins migrate to the south each fall, some stay in mid-Michigan to insure they have first choice of nesting territories in the spring. 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. Only the male American Robin sings, but both sexes have calls and alarm notes. You typically hear the robin first thing in the spring in the morning and last thing before dark.

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