American Robins Habits

American Robins, the red breasted birds, mark the return of Spring to most folks in the northern states.

One of the easiest birds to watch while they go about their nesting and feeding habits since they're in most peoples backyards.

Actually, unknown to a lot of people, these birds spend the winter in much of their breeding range.

Robin at Watering Hole

However, because they spend less time in yards and congregate more in wooded areas, you may not see them as often.

During milder winters, it's more common to see them in our backyards.

These birds are often used as the standard to which other birds sizes are compared; one of the most common native birds of the East, and the largest of the Thrush Family.

Hardly a garden in North America has not been visited by this bird. Often referred to as the Red Robin.

American Robin Call


American Robins have gray upperparts and the familiar reddish breast, varying from pale rust to a dark brick red.

Male and females look nearly identical. The females colors are less vibrant.

Sometimes during nesting season you'll see mud on the breast of a female, since she is the one that lines the nest with mud.

The average size of this bird is 9-11 inches long.

Often, you'll see these birds hopping on lawns, meadows, and golf courses looking for earthworms. They also eat insects, fruit, and berries.

Nesting - Breeding Habits

The song of the male is to advertise his territory or to attract a mate. You'll hear them the most just before the young hatch.

The typical breeding season for this bird is from April to July

The female builds the nest which is made of grasses, a middle layer of mud, then lined with fine grasses. The nest is usually placed in the crotch of a tree or shrub 5-20 feet above ground.

The availability of mud at nesting time may entice these birds to nest nearby. They will also make use of wool, string and hair.

They can produce up to three successful broods in one year. On average, two clutches are raised with less than half being successful.

Only a quarter of those that do fledge survive to November. From that point on, about half of the birds alive in any year will make it to the next.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the whole population turns over on average every six years.

The female lays 3-7 light blue eggs that are incubated for 12-14 days and the young leave the nest in about 14-16 days.

Robin in Evening Sunlight

Robins will return to the same territories from season to season.

Sometimes they build a new nest on top of their old one. I've seen as many as three on top of one another.

It's a good idea to remove old nest in baskets and off of downspouts and rafters in fall so that parasites don't overwinter.

Visitors to this site have submitted photos and stories of some unusual nesting places that this bird chooses to raise their young.

Removing the nest protects future broods should they return to the same site because parasites may travel from the old nest to the new nest.

Sometimes a single female will build several nest close to one another. She will eventually select one to raise her young in.

No one knows why they do this from time to time.

It's not uncommon to find Doves reusing a Robins nest to lay their eggs and raise young.

Feeding Habits - What They Eat

Robins eat different types of food depending not only on the time of year, but even time of day. They eat earthworms early in the day and more fruit later in the day.

Because they forage largely on lawns, they are vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution.


This is a bird of woodland edges and opening. Prefering open ground on which it can forage for insects to eat and feed their young.

Try placing fruit on tray feeders or planting fruiting shrubs to attract more of them to your backyard garden.

After the breeding season, Robins flock together and go to large communal roosts at night. This habit continues from fall through winter.

Baby Robins

Share Your Story!
Robins find some funny and strange places to nest. Do you have a story and picture about Robins nesting around your home? Why not Share it With Our Visitors.
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A good percentage of baby birds are lost due to people thinking they've rescued the little one. The young are often found on the ground without what seems to be, any parental oversight.

Adults and children catch these newly fledged birds and take them inside, not knowing they've rescued a bird that didn't need rescuing.

You see, when baby robins first leave the nest, they are unable to fly. Some jump to higher branches in the nest tree and some take a tumble to the ground but landing softly.

These baby birds are fine, the adults will continue to care for them. Leave Them Be!

If you're worried they may be in harms way, help them to a nearby shurb for protection so that the adults will find and continue feeding them.

The adult birds can see you a block away. So don't assume because you don't see any adult birds that there are none around.

Adults are listening for their young and will find them if you keep them close to where you found them.

Please share this information with others who may think they're helping these young birds. Keeping your cats indoors during the nesting season will go a long way in helping our birds.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Watch Videos of Our Nest Experience

Learn About Attracting Robins To Your Backyard

Watch as Baby Robins Leave The Nest

pioneer woman magazine
good housekeeping magazine
womans day magazine


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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Robins - Stories and Tales Shared  
A Robin built a nest in our archway over our gated entrance..right at head level. We were able to watch all stages of its life till all four flew away. …

Window Ledge Robins 
Robins Nesting on Our Window Ledge This Spring brought us a beautiful miracle of life on our small bathroom window ledge. Mrs. Robin began building …

Robin Nesting on Ladder Instead of Light Fixture 
Robin Nest on Ladder this Year Three years ago this mama robin built her nest just over my back door, perched on my motion sensor flood light. Last year …

Olympia and Poseidon, Golden, Silver and Bronze 
Last June, 2018, one Robbin was born above my front door , I named her Olympia in honor of the athletes competing in the FINA WORLD Artistic Swimming Championships. …

Robin on a Fan 
We've lived here for 20 years but have never seen this before. We have an outdoor fan on our front porch. As I was spring cleaning my house in April, …

Aggressive mama Robin! 
About a month ago, we noticed the sudden appearance of a new bird nest, neatly hidden on the side of a large, Spider plant. This plant sits on the railing …

Exciting Robin - watching this year! 
Our 4 year old was the first to notice the perfectly shaped birds nest atop a fake wreath that we had left hanging on the shed door this year. Sure …

My Robin Eggs Hatched! 
This the second installment about the nest that was built in my rose moss hanging basket this spring. I discovered the nest while watering my plants …

Robin Nesting in Rose Moss  
Robin Nest in Patio Plant I brought my patio plants inside for winter as I normally do. This spring I hung them back on the patio and a few weeks …

Flown the Nest 
Flown The Nest We discovered a Robin nest early this spring on our 2nd floor drainpipe next to our bedroom window; it was still pretty cold …

The Chosen One 
Hanging Plant Robin Nest We have a very large, covered patio that has never been finished. There are 30+ cubbies for birds to nest as they so choose. …

Robin Nest On Bird Feeder 
We had a robin who built her nest this spring on the outside edge of our large wooden birdfeeder. We had always seen them in the past build in shrubs …

Young Robin in backyard 
One morning I saw what I thought was a clump of leaves in my backyard but it turned out to be a baby robin. At first I thought it might be hurt so …

Robins Nesting On Holiday Wreaths 
This spring has been interesting for my house and robins. It started with a certain robin (maybe more) consistently diving and hitting the glass in my …

Robin's in Whipped Topping Tub 
One morning after a real windy evening we found that a robin's nest had blown out of the maple tree in our back yard. About a foot away from the nest …

American Robin My Special Gift 
The robins were very busy last Saturday morning. Between sunrise and 10 AM the male robin and his lady bird built this beautiful gift-of-a-bird's …

Robin Karma 
I was having some overgrown tree shrubbery removed from my back yard. With the felling of the first tree, a Robin's nest was dislodged. The man cutting …

My Friend, "Christopher" Robin 
I live in a ground-level condo, with a patio. We are not allowed to feed birds due to the rodent problem that it would cause, but I have had …

Pictures of American Robin and Stories 
My Robin and Pictures Story As I was leaving my home one day, I noticed a robin pulling out worms in the grass near the door. As I watched …

Robins Nest Patio Umbrella 
Every spring a Robin tries to build a nest in our deck umbrella. As soon as I spot the behavior, I take the nest down and feel like a real creep. …

A Lesson From A Baby Robin & It's Mommy! 
Hello,My name is Nancy. My roommate owns his home. And with it, a lot of land & trees. Well, the robins come by the dozens! I let my 2 dogs out to use …

Robin Nest By Our Window 
One afternoon, my wife and I noticed a large batch of moss that had been dropped on our driveway. Looking up, we noticed that there was Moss hanging …

Robin's Nest On Garage Ceiling 
Many weeks ago we noticed a bird flying in and out of our garage when we opened and/or closed the door. We weren't sure what kind it was, or why it was …

Mom Robin On The Attack 
A Robin had built a nest on my bathroom window ledge. I had watched for the last two seasons these lovely little Robins grow and fly away. I was …

Click here to write your own.

Robin Carport Condo 
Two years ago a mother Robin built a nest in the top of a flower wreath hanging on the carport wall. She laid 4 eggs and dutifully sat on them most …

Robins Nest in Unusual Places Lights,ladders,patios 
A robin has built a nest on top of my daughter's front porch light. It's up too high for them to see inside the nest, but the robin is dive-bombing at …

Robin Attack! 
It was one sunny summer day. My dad, brothers, and I were getting to go fishing. My dad was getting the fishing poles ready while Dan, Rob,(my brothers)and …

Window With A View of Robins 
Robins Nesting Outside Window Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of watching a family of baby Robins as they nested right outside my window. …

American Robin Bird Stories 
After listening to a robin bang into my bedroom window for a month, my family was delighted when she finally made a nest in the rhododendron only four …

Click here to write your own.