A Robin Mom
Feeds her 4 Nestlings
Sedona, Arizona – May 2007
Photo by Phil Astrella
Description: The American Robin is 25–28 cm (10–11 in) long. It weighs about 77 g (2.7 oz). It has gray upperparts and head, and orange underparts, usually brighter in the male. There are seven sub-species, but only T. m. confinus in the southwest is particularly distinctive, with pale gray-brown underparts. During the breeding season, the adult males grow distinctive black feathers on their heads; after the breeding season they lose this eye-catching plumage.
Songs and Calls: The male American Robin, as with many thrushes, has a beautiful, complex and almost continuous song. Its song is commonly described as a cheerily carol, made up of discrete units, often repeated, and spliced together into a string with brief pauses in between. The song varies regionally, and its style varies by time of day. American Robins will often be among the last songbirds singing as the evening sets in.
In addition to its song, the American Robin has a number of calls used for communicating specific information.
Habitat: The American Robin's habitat is all sorts of woodland and more open farmland and urban areas. Food is the typical thrush mixture consisting largely of insects and earthworms. Robins are also fond of some berries, including those of the black cherry tree; they will fly in especially to feed on them during the period when they ripen.
This bird breeds throughout Canada and the United States. While Robins occasionally overwinter in the northern part of the United States and southern Canada, most winter in the southern parts of the breeding range and beyond, from the southern U.S.A. to Guatemala.
Mating Habits: Females select mates based on the males' songs, plumage, and territory quality. The females build the nest and lay two to four light blue eggs in the grass-lined cup. The female incubates the eggs for 11-14 days until hatching. The eyes of the pink featherless nestlings are closed for the first five days. Both parents feed the nestlings a diet of earthworms, insects and berries. The young develop rapidly in the nest for 15–16 days to fledging. Two broods in a season are common.The adult male and female both are active in protecting and feeding the fledged chicks until they learn to forage on their own.