American Robins Habits

American Robins, the red-breasted birds, or for some the "Red Robin Bird" 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 people's backyards.

Unknown to a lot of people, Robins spend the winter in much of their breeding range.

Robin at Watering Hole

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 bird 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 these birds. Often referred to as the Red Robin.

American Robin Call


American Robins has gray upper parts and the familiar reddish breast, varying from pale rust to a dark brick red.

Male and females look nearly identical. The female 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.

Robin Nesting - Breeding Habits

At the beginning of the Robin nesting season the male's song is to advertise his territory or to attract a mate. You'll hear them the most just before the young hatch.

The typical American Robin breeding season runs from April to July.

The female builds her Robin 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 the ground. Video below shows a Robin nest being built on a nesting shelf.

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

Video Shows Robin Nest Being Built

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

Robins are very protective of their nest and territory. You'll find Robin repeatedly flying into windows.

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 (gestation period, not the term for birds) and will hatch in 12-14 days and the young leave the nest in about 14-16 days.

Robin in Evening Sunlight

Robin in Sunset

This red Robin bird 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 the old nests in baskets and off of downspouts and rafters in fall so that parasites don't overwinter.

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. The image below shows what a Robins Nest and its blue eggs look like.

The Robin's nest is the one most people think of when they are thinking of what a birds nest looks like.

Perfectly round with a mud base, grasses line the outside and soft material for the eggs to rest on.

four blue american robin eggs in robin nest

Robin Nest with Four Eggs Laid

Robin nest are so well built that it's not uncommon to find Doves reusing a Robins nest to lay their eggs and raise young.

Feeding Habits - What Robins Eat

Robins eat different types of food depending not only on the time of year, but even the 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 openings. Preferring 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.

Where Do Robins Go In Late Summer - July August

As it gets later in the season around July or August you begin to notice less Robins around your yard.

Once the nesting cycle winds down and fledglings are getting a long on their own, Robins move to more wooded and forested areas.

The hot summer sun is baking our yards and earthworms and insects have burrowed deeper into the soil where Robins can't see them.

The forest floor with its leaf litter and ripening berries, offers a bounty of food that will sustain the Robins through Fall and some 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 Robin 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.

Be careful around the nest or young birds on the ground as the adult may attack you. Read more here - Robin Attacking Humans

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 land 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 harm's 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.

Adult Robins 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 and enjoy the Red Robin.

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

Robins Nesting in Hanging Plants

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


Have A Great Story and Photo About Robins Around Your Home?

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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

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