American robins are often seen in lawns and backyards, picking out worms from the grassy ground. They are one the most recognized birds in North America. This bird was named by the British colonists because of the similarity of this bird to the Robins Native to England. You can easily attract American robins to your garden by providing them nesting box (American Robin Birdhouse) and Food.
Keep up with me, I will give you more details!
1. About American Robin
American Robin is one of the most beautiful birds found in North America. It is the state bird of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Connecticut. These birds are known with different names among people base on locality. These names include: Robin, Redbreast Robin, Red Robin, Robin Read Breast and Red Robin Bird. Whereas the scientific name of this bird is “Turnus Migratorius”. Robin bird is often regarded as “Bird of the Spring” because they are a symbol for the arrival of the spring and season renewal. American robins are backyard birds and you can easily invite them to your backyard garden and enjoy living near them.
2. American Robin identification
American Robins can be easily identified by their round body and reddish-orange feathers on their breasts. These birds have the following specifications.
i. American Robin Size.
Adult American robins are about 9.1 to 11 inches long. The wingspan of American robin is 12 to 16 inches and the average weight of the bird is about 77 grams. The American robin Male weight falls in the range between 72 to 94 grams whereas the female weight is in the range of 59 to 91 grams.
ii. American Robin Shape.
Male Robins have beautiful round bodies. They have a yellow pointed beak with a grey tip. while the body of the female robin is more stretched as compared to the males. The beak of the female robin is similar to the male robin. Both the Male and the females have long legs.
iii. American Robin Color Patterns.
Male Robins have a blackish head with a white spot around the eye. They have a yellow beak with a grey tip. The breast of the male American robin is of a reddish color whereas, the back and feathers of these birds are of grey color. The tail of Male robin is darker than its back and feathers.
Female Robins are very similar to the males but they are mole pale overall. The colors of the females are not as sharp as that of the males. The female robin has a light grey head along with a lighter grey back and feathers. The color of the breast is lighter and pale as compared to the males which have dark orange breasts.
3. American Robin Habitat
American robins can be found in gardens, lawns, fields, orchards and they can even be found in the cities inside parks. Similarly, they can also be found in forests, woodlands, and mountains. Most of these robins can be seen year-round but some of them migrate towards the North (e.g Alaska) to spend their summers. These birds prefer living near trees with berries and other food sources.
4. American Robin Sound
The sound of American robins is very popular among different birds. These birds sing with a varying pitch and song consists of a combination of around 10 whistles. Besides singing American Robin call and communicate with each other using different sounds like “tuk-tuk-tuk”, “yeep” or “peek”. They use these sounds to communicate will each other and to pass alarm calls when they see predators nearby. These birds also play their role in the dawn chorus during the Summer and Spring.
Usually, the Male Robins don’t sing from Fall to early Spring. They just chatter and call during these seasons. But in the early spring when the mating season is near the Male Robins belt out their songs to impress the females for making a pair.
Male American Robin Song:
Male American Robin Call Sound:
American Robin Alarm/Warning Call:
American Robin Ariel Predator Warning Call:
5. American Robin Diet
American robins can even be seen in the city parks and lawns searching for worms and food. Most of the time robins search in flocks. American robins are Omnivorous birds and they love to eat worms but they will eat anything that is provided to them. In Nature Robins feed on earthworms and insects which are only available during the spring and summer so during the winter, they feast on fruits and berries. Their meal generally consists of 40% insects and 60% berries. By providing them with food and meal you can easily attract these birds to nest inside your backyard.
- Berries and Fruits
6. American Robin Nesting Habits
The selection of a site for nesting is the responsibility of the female Robin. Whereas, a male may give a suggestion for a site occasionally by bringing nest building material to that spot. Most likely female will not decline the suggestion, but the female may choose another spot for nesting. Female Robins consider several spots before finalizing on one. At each spot, the female will lover herself in the Branch cavity to check if there is enough room for making a nest. In some cases, the female may start building nests at two separate locations before finalizing on one.
American robins Nest’s are about 5 to 20 feet above the ground. But for them, height is not a crucial variable of selection. Because of this reasons, their nest is very easy to locate and they are easily approachable. Besides the height, the foundation of the nest is of prime importance. Robin builds their nest above a strong branch foundation (The birdhouse doesn’t hang from a tree). American Robin Nest is made of weeds, grass stems, twigs, cloths and string. The nest is like a round shape cup of mud from inside, along with a thin lining of grass. (Amerian Robin Nest is entirely or Mostly build by the female Robins)
Watch Our Video on American Robin Nest beside the window. This Nest is easily approachable and if there was a feral cat in this house these baby robins would not have a chance to live even a day.
American Robins Build their nest inside their territory and their territory can vary from 2000 yards up to 1000 square yards. In the early spring, the male robin will choose a location and will start singing and advertising his territory. Inside these boundaries, the male Robin will attack other intruding robins, but they generally ignore these boundary limitations while feeding.
7. American Robin Mating and Breeding Habits
American Robins sing songs during the spring and early summer (from April to July) to Attract a mate or to advertise his territory. For attracting females beside singing the Male Robin will also put up a dance show in which he will repeatedly rise and spread his tale while flattering his wing at the same time, along with inflating his throats.
i. American Robin Eggs.
American Robins breed during the spring but the breeding season can be extended up to July. the female robin lay 3 to 5 eggs each season. On average the American Robins have 2 to 3 broods (Broods are the babies of the birds that have hatched successfully) each season. (Check out our youtube video on Amerian Robin Brooder in their Nest )
American Robin bird eggs are blue in color. This color is due to the pigment in the blood of the female Robin. The ruptured blood cell hemoglobin is transformed into pigment which is carried out into the eggshell. American Robin egg is of small size with 1.1-inches length and 0.8 inches in width.
ii. Incubation of Eggs
American Robins Eggs are incubated by the female Robin. The males don’t have any brood patch and also they don’t know how to incubate the eggs. The eggs hatch in 10 to 14 days so the female spends every 50 mins out of 1 hour in the nest incubating the eggs. The male robin just looks after the female during this period and never sits on the eggs for incubation.
iii. Raising the Brooders.
After the eggs are hatched the American Robin Brooders (chicks) remains in the nest under the protection of the father and mother enjoying worms and food brought by their parents. After 2 weeks the baby robin becomes old enough and they leave their nest, Making their first crash landing on to the ground. At this point, the brooders are still young enough and they are still incapable of flying so they hide in the bushes during this time and the parents continue to feed them there. (Watch youtube Video of Robin video of Babies inside American Robin Nest )
The baby bird which leaves the nest is called as fledging. These fledging remain in the bushes for about 2 weeks and after 2 weeks they become old enough to fly.
8. How to attract American Robins to your backyard
i. Birdhouse Spot Selection and Placement
American Robin Birdhouses are the most effective way to invite them to your backyard. They will search for a place to nest during the early spring. So it’s best to provide a clean birdhouse for them before spring. The female American Robin will inspect the birdhouse while selecting a place for nesting and will eventually start nesting in your provided birdhouse. So, if you want to attract robins this year it’s best to provide Birdhouses and Nesting boxes for these birds in your backyard before early spring.
ii. Providing Food.
No doubt earthworms are the favorite food of American Robins. If you have your own lawn in your backyard or there are lawns and grass nearby then the chances of having American Robins in your backyard will increase exponentially. This is because birds prefer to nest near the food source. Don’t just rely on worms. Provide food and Mealworms to these birds, surely, they will love you and your garden.
iii. Providing Birdbaths.
American Robin loves to take a bath. If you provide them with a birdbath along with food and Birdhouse, then you will increase the chances of having these cute little birds in your backyard.
iv. Planting Fruit Trees.
American Robins Loves berries, obviously not more than earthworms which is their favorite food. During the winter when there are no worms these robins eat berries and fruits from the trees. Planting berries and food trees will attract these birds to visit your backyard and nest there.
I have never seen a robin taking a dirt bath like sparrows or hens do! but I have seen American Robins sunbathing. So providing them with a place to lay down and speared their feathers to enjoy sun will also contribute little in attracting these birds.
9. American Robin Birdhouse Placement and Spot Selection
American robins are not very selective in choosing a spot for breeding. That’s why they have been witnessed nesting at random locations e.g besides window, inside a garage or inside a small bush near human population. Because of this nature, you can easily attract these birds to your backyard birdhouse. But for having the best results you should follow these rules.
- Choose a spot for American Birdhouse Placement, that is far from house door, walking path, traffic, and vehicles.
- Don’t place the birdhouse too high. Although placing the nest high can decrease the risk of predator attacks, it is not a good idea because the fledglings will get hurt as they come off their nest for their first flight attempt.
- You should pick a spot for the American Robin Birdhouse that is protected by storms and strong winds.
- You should place the birdhouse at a location that is near to the vegetation and suburbs. Because the fledglings need to take cover in the bushes or grow beds for the first two weeks after leaving the birdhouse till they can completely fly.
10. American Robin Birdhouse Features and Requirements
i. American Robin Nesting Shelf
If you provide a nesting shelf to your American Robins they will build a Nest on the shelf support using straws and clay exactly the way they do in nature. The Nesting Platform should have these features given below. These dimensions are accurate and they are very effecting in attracting Robins. It is not crucial to follow these exact dimensions. Your nestbox just needs to have a dimension near these values.
- The length of the nesting shelf should be about 8-9 inches.
- The width of the nesting shelf should be about 6-7 inches.
- The nesting shelf should be covered from the sides.
- The nesting shelf should have a roof to protect the birds from rain and sun.
- The roof should be around 8 inches above the shelf.
ii. American Robin Birdhouse
Note! American robins don’t nest inside the birdhouses. Nesting Shelves and Platform are used to attract American Robins to build their nest on the shelf. You should buy a nesting platform for your robins instead of spending money on birdhouses. American robins prefer open platform rather than enclosed birdhouses because they provide an open view.
Note! I will use the words birdhouse and nesting shelf interchangeably in this article which will refer to nesting shelf or Nesting Platform.
11. Best Nesting Shelves to buy for American Robin.
i. Coverside Nesting Platform
This Coverside Nesting Platform (American Robin Birdhouse) is specially designed for American Robins. The Dimensions of the birdhouse is very near to that of our recommended dimensions. This nesting shelf will effectively attract American Robins to built their nest on its platform. Here are some of the specs of Coveside Nesting Platform.
- Length 9.25 inches (very close to the recommended 8-9 inches)
- Width 8.75 inches (close to the recommended 7 inches)
- Height is 9.5 inches (It includes the slope)
You can mount Coveside Nesting planform (American Robin Birdhouse) easily beside the walls using two screws. These Nesting Platforms have 2 pre-drilled holes on the back side of the nesting box. You will have to screw into the wall through these holes.
I will recommend also provide Nesting Material to the American robins which will help them built nest very fast and the female will not exhaust herself in search of straws and weeds.
The user experience with this product is quite good. They are happy with the build and quality of the wood of this nesting platform.
ii. JCs Wildlife Cedar Robin Roost Birdhouse
This handmade designed for American Robin Birdhouse. You can hang this birdhouse easily on to the side of the wall using a single screw. Here are the specs for this birdhouse.
- Length 8.5 inches.
- Width 8.5 inches.
- Height 12 inches. (Note height is slightly above the recommended 8 inches, this is because they have counted the upper part above the wall which will be used for hanging the birdhouse)
I will recommend also provide Nesting Material to the American robins which will help them built nest very fast and the female will not exhaust herself in search of straws and weeds.
The user experience with this product is quite good. They are satisfied with the strong build construction of the birdhouse, However, I noticed one user complaining about the small dimensions of this birdhouse. But actually, the dimensions are exactly according to the recommendation.
12. What to feed robins: Food to buy for American Robins
Besides providing Nesting Platform (American Robin Birdhouse) for American Robin it’s good to Provide them food. So, they will have easy access to abundant food without searching for it. Which will result in well fed and healthy brooders. Here is the list of food which you can buy for your Robins.
- Dried Mealworms for American Robins.
- Black Oil Sunflowers
- Birds Blend Suet Cake
- Robin Seeds Mix
- Crushed Peanuts
- Cardinal Food Blend
- Fruits: Strawberries, Blueberries, blackberries, and grapes
Note: For each type of feed which you are buying for your American Robins its best to buy their respective feeder. Which will make the feeding process much easier and cleaner without any wastage of feed. I will mention the feeder for American Robins later in this post.
13. How to mount American Robin Birdhouse
These Robin Nesting platforms (American Robin Birdhouse) which we discussed mounts besides the wall. You just need a pair of screws and a screwdriver to mount these birdhouses along the wall. Make sure to mount it at a comparatively high. If you have a tree near your garden its good to mount along the wall under the tree but you have to be careful that there is no access for the predators like cats, squirrels and snakes to reach the birdhouse.
14. Provide birdbath for American Robins
American robins love taking bath in shallow water. Providing food and nesting platform (American Robin Birdhouse) is cool for your robins. They will eat and nest, but it is good to provide birdbath for your Robins which will keep them happy and energetic.
15. Types of Feeders for American Robins
Buying a specific feeder for feeding you backyard Robins is very important because it will keep the feed safe (protected from other animals) and clean without any wastage. Additionally, they are comfortable for the birds to use and they are also easy to clean and refill.
- CERAMIC & METAL SEED & MEALWORM FEEDER.
- Cedar Bird Feeder
- Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder
- Big Top Feeder
These for feeder can be used to feed the following food to your robins. Note: Its Best to feed your American Robins Meal Worms, As this is their favorite food, Beside mealworms you can also feed them Fruits and berries which is their second favorite preference.
- Mixed Seed
- Crushed peanuts
- Robin Seed Mix
16. Protect the American Robin Birdhouse from Predators.
While mounting an American Robin nesting platform (American Robin Birdhouse) it is very important to choose a location which is safe from predators. The predators are different for the adults and the young babies in the nest. Whenever the American Robin Adults see a predator nearby they start chirping (Warning Sound) which is a warning call. The adult American Robin falls prey to cats, hawks, and large sakes. Whereas, blue jays, crow, squirrels, grackles, and ravens are the most common predators for the brooder and eggs inside the nest. Some of the well-known predators of American robins are.
- Blue jays
17. American robins Lifespan
The mortality rate for American Robin is quite high of around 50% for its first year once it has fledged. (It means each year after leaving the nest 50 % of the young robins die). If that young Robin survives up to the mid-winter, then it may live an average of 1.7 years after that winter. (We can say that the total average American robin lifespan is about 2.5 years). They can live up to 6 years normally. Whereas the maximum life for an American Robin which has been recorded is 14 years.
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