About The Robin
Robin is the common name used for several songbirds of which the most popular is the American Robin. The American robin has a black to gray head, a white chin and throat with streaking on its throat, a dull red breast and belly, and gray upper parts. It has a thin yellow bill and dark eyes that have dark orbital markings around it. The sexes are similar in appearance except that females are a bit paler in color over all with the contrast between its less dark head and less grayish closer to brown back not that evident. Robins of both sexes have paler plumages during winter as compared to their summer plumage. Juveniles differ from adults in that their breasts are white and spotted.
The Robin Nesting Preferences
The American robin’s nest is made of mud or clay mixed with leaves, grass, roots, hair, and wool. The female robin makes the nest by shaping it with her wings as she spins or turns round and round in it. The nest is then lined with finer grass, hair, wool, and other fiber. The female lays about three to five blue green eggs and raise 2 to 3 broods each season.
Building a Birdhouse For The Robin
Robins prefer open platforms to birdhouses due to the open view it provides. A good platform should have an 8” x 8” base and a ceiling 8” with an open front and partially open sides. The platform should be mounted facing foliage or open spaces on the side of sheds or other such structures. Robin platforms shouldn’t be mounted in trees since robins only place their nests in precarious positions at the outer limbs of trees. This is to make sure that predators couldn’t get to the nest. Wherever you decide to mount the platform make sure that cats, mice, and squirrels do not have a way of getting to the nest. Mount the platform between 7 to 15 feet above ground.
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The Robin Mating Habits
Robins are very vocal birds and are one of the first to sing in the morning and the last to stop at night. However, the male is extra vocal during courtship. When singing the mating song, the male robin usually displays itself and lifts tail higher than its head. The male and female robin then approaches each other and touches each others widely opened beaks. The male robin also feeds the female robin during courtship. Once the breeding season is over American robins become shy and even more furtive.
The Robin Feeding Preferences
The robin’s diet consists of insects, worms, grubs, berries, and a wide variety of fruits. They forage in open meadows and are frequent visitors of manicured lawns and backyards. While foraging for food they usually run, halt, twist their heads, and remain motionless before running again. Robins exhibit this peculiar behavior not to listen for worms as folklore has it but to watch for any movement that would betray the position of their prey.
Interesting Robin Facts
Robins can be used as an indicator of chemical pollution. This is due to the fact that robins forage a lot on lawns that may contain pesticides. Since they are vulnerable to pesticides a rise in robin deaths in one area could indicate too much pesticide or chemical pollution in that area.