About The Robin

Robin refers to a number of songbirds including the American Robin and Europe’s friendly robin. They belong to the thrush family known as Turdidae. These species can either be resident or migrant birds depending on the severity of the winter climate in their local area. They are the ones you see running across lawns and picking up earthworms. The running and stopping behavior is a distinct characteristic of robins. When they stop, they are actually looking for prey and not listening as often believed by many people.

The American Robin (turdus migratorious) is one of the most popular birds in the U.S. Its name was given by American colonists after discovering the abundance of this medium-sized, russet bird in their new land. Its common name shared with the smaller and unrelated European robin is also attributed to the similarity in their orange-red coloring.

The American Robin measures 10 to 11 inches long with a weight of about 2.7 ounces. It can be identified by its red breast, small yellow beak, crescents around the eyes, brown back and white under tail feathers and lower belly. It also has a white throat with black streaks but the males are brighter in color than the females.

The American Robin found in Canada and in the colder areas of the U.S. usually migrate to the southern states from Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico and the Pacific Coast during winter to search for food, notably the winter berries. Most of them leave the south by late August and go back northward in February and March.

In Europe, the robin is the national bird of Great Britain. The bird is a common favorite there and is easily identified by most people. The British robins mostly stay in one location earning them the name resident birds and only a few migrate to Spain and Portugal during winter time. They are joined by some birds from Scandinavia and Continental Europe. Compared to the tamed garden British robin, the immigrant birds are said to be less tamed because of their skulking behavior in the woodlands.

Robins also molt or shed off their feathers during summer from July to August. During this time, they are rarely seen or heard. Sometimes, they sing their warbling song from very high perches that sound like “twiddle-oo, twiddle-eedee, twiddle-oo.” Although territorial the whole year, their territoriality during the spring and summer is due to their breeding season. There are times, too, when individual robins hold territories for feeding purposes.


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