Do Robins Migrate?

RobinThe American robin ( Turdus migratorius) is a relatively large songbird common throughout nearly all of North America. Robins can be found in almost any environment from open fields to woods, as well as suburban lawns and parks. Their cheery song and easy to identify colorings has led them a to become one of the most easily identified birds by children and adults alike.┬áSince it is such a popular bird, many ask the question, “Do Robins Migrate?”

Robins Do Migrate…sometimes

In Northern climates Robins are often the first migratory bird to show up each spring. It is estimated that the current American robin population is around 320 million birds, each with an average lifespan of 2 years.

American robins that live in the Northern United States and Canada migrate south in the winter, whereas those in the Central and Southern U.S. are usually year-round birds.

In the winter, robins will gather in trees to roost. Roosts of robins have been found to contain up to a one-quarter million birds. These roosts are a method of the robins to protect themselves from predators such as hawks and cats. Their wary individual personalities help warn the entire flock of any impending menace.

American robins tend to have bold personalities, and can often be spotted bounding across lawns and open regions looking for food.

The top part of the robin’s body is usually black or grey with white around the eyes, and a distinctive red or orange breast. Robins are normally around 11 inches long and can have a wing span of about the same length.

What Do Robin Eat

The American robin is omnivorous, and eats differently depending on the season and time of day. In the summer, robins will expend their mornings hopping across the ground searching for earthworms, which they hunt purely by sight. American Robins tend to eat more fruits and berries during summer afternoons. In winter, they will eat honeysuckle berries almost exclusively, and can sometimes become intoxicated from overindulgence, falling over when they walk.

Robin Nests

In early springtime, female robins will construct nests in trees or other high places from a combination of grass, twigs and plumages. The nest is lined with mud and cushioned with grass. After mating, the female will lay 3-5 light blue eggs that she will incubate alone until hatching, 14 days later. The chicks will be able two fly two weeks after hatching, and will follow their mother and father around for a short while to beg food from them. American robins can have several broods per year, and will build a new nest for each one. After the mating season is over, female robins will rejoin their roost for the winter.

 

AMERICAN ROBIN FACTS

  • The oldest known American robin lived to be 14 years old.
  • Robins will often attack much bigger birds and animals, including humans, that get too near their nests during brooding.

 

REFERENCES

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin/lifehistory

Field Guide to Birds of North America

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/212/overview/American_Robin.aspx