American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
What they look like: The American Robin is about 10 inches long (25 cm), and has a brick-red breast, with gray wings, head and back. The short beak is yellow. It has a white throat with black stripes; the males throat is darker than the female. The lower belly is primarily white. It has a long gray/black tail. Males and females look similar, but the males have a darker head (often black) and the female has paler color. There is a broken white eye-ring that surrounds their dark eyes. The juvenile's under parts are tinged with cinnamon and heavily spotted with brown (see photo).
Where they live: In North America, American Robins breed from Alaska east to Newfoundland, Canada and south to California and east to Florida. The American Robin can be found in farmlands, suburbs and urban neighborhoods.
What they eat: The American Robin eats earthworms, insects and berries.
Behavior: The American Robin is commonly heard singing in forests and suburbs. Calls include a loud, liquid song, a variable cheerily cheer-up cheerio. Another call is a rapid tut tut tut. Robins are often seen on lawns, with their heads cocked, searching for earthworms and insects. American Robins are Neotropical migrants, although they are found year-round in mild climates.
Nesting: American Robins pair-bond during the breeding season. Both parents build the nest that is made of twigs, mud and lined with dry grass. Sometimes the nest will have string or ribbon that the robins find in the yard (see nest photo). The cup-shaped nests are built in a bush, tree or under the eaves of buildings. The female typically lays two to four light blue eggs. The female incubates the eggs over a two-week period and both parents care for the young. The eggs take around two weeks to hatch and the chicks will fledge when they are about 14 to 16 days old. The female may have two broods a year. The young are born with their eyes shut and first open their eyes around five days after hatching.
Photos of American Robin male, female and juvenile.
Tracks by by J. Wernet, age 12
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