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American Robin

Scientific name: Turdis migratorius

What says spring more than the arrival of the robin?

This cheerful little bird is famous for its red breast and its merry song. One of our most common native birds, it will often be seen foraging for worms on the ground, perhaps suggesting the maxim, “the early bird gets the worm”. In this species, there are few noticeable differences between the male and female. The robin is a prodigious singer and may begin its serenade in the early dawn hours. Listen to see if you recognize its characteristic song.

Photo Credits on this page courtesy Missouri Dept. Of Conservation.


2.5-3 ounces


8-11 inches

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The robin will forage for worms and grubs in the morning and then seek out berries in the afternoon. Should they stay in winter, they will also eat crabapples and berries.  As in the photo above, young are fed high protein foods, such as worms.


The robin may be found in a variety of habitats which has aided in its ability to survive alongside human development. Grassy areas such as lawns, fields, parks are places you are sure to see them, but they might also be found in woodlands.

Life Cycle

This is one of the first birds to to lay its eggs in springtime. They are a bright blue in color. Only 25% of fledglings will survive their first season. They do nest in trees, or will nest in a box that you set up for them. In this area, they may raise two broods in a season.


Some robins might be here year round, but they would be seldom seen, as they roost together in trees. Most of their food sources are not available in winter, prompting them to migrate.

Human Connections

At one point in our history robins were killed for meat. Fortunately, most human connections with the robin are more positive ones. Songs such as “The Red, Red Robin comes Bob Bob Bobin’ Along”  and “Rockin’ Robin” are etched into our cultural memories.

How You Can Help

Since robins forage on lawns, they are vulnerable to any pesticides that you might use.

Fun Facts

Robins eat grubs, which can damage lawns.

Did You Know?

American songbirds, such as the eastern towhee have declined in population by almost 50% from 1966 to 2015.  To learn more, please read this   article in National Geographic Magazine.

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