American Robin

Hey guys, welcome back! How did it take us this long to get to one of most common, widespread, and well known birds in North America? Well, the actual answer is I took my life list and arranged it by date and that’s the order I’m going in on the blog haha. Anyway, the American Robin truly is one of the most well known and common birds in the U.S. They are also commonly known as the harbingers of spring with people always talking about seeing the “first robin of spring.” Except they aren’t. Robins are resident to short distance migrants and are found throughout the continental U.S. all year round; even in the dead of winter! They are however the early birds that get the worm, as they can commonly be seen pulling earthworms out of the ground early in the morning. In winter, when worms and larvae are scarce, they eat lots of fruit. They can actually eat so many berries they can become intoxicated!

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American Robin, Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

Visually, American Robins are known for their “red breast” which is actually more of a rusty orange. The rest of the bird is grey, with males having a darker, nearly black, head. American Robins are thrushes, and as such are typically found on the ground, though they nest in trees in “traditional” bird nests. American Robins can, and often do, produce three broods in a single breeding season, with the mothers and fathers sharing responsibility of incubating the eggs and feeding the young.

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Juvenile American Robin, Central Park, NY

New York City is home to lots of species of birds. But despite the number of pigeons and starlings prevalent in the city, none are more asked about, at least in my time working in Central Park, than the American Robin. Central Park is a huge tourist destination. The Central Park Conservancy (where I used to work) always claimed the park saw over 40 million visits each year (personally I think that number is quite a bit inflated, but the park is still one of the top tourist destinations in the City.) A lot of those visitors are from Europe. Starlings and pigeons are native there, so the Europeans probably don’t think anything of it. But I can’t tell you how many of them would look at the American Robin and wonder what they were looking at! For us in the states, it can be weird. Like, they’re all over the place, hardly uncommon, but to those European visitors, they have never seen ones of these birds. Then I’d tell them what it was and they’d almost always let out a “What!? That’s a robin!?” You see, over there, there’s a bid called the European Robin. Both birds have an orange breast, but that’s where the similarities end. The European Robin is considerably smaller and is in the Old World Flycatcher family – not at all related to our robins.

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American Robin, Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, MO

The American Robin can be found in almost any type of habitat, as long as there’s food around. They typically, however, prefer open grasslands near the edge of a wooded area. They have a beautiful song that you’ll hear almost constantly in the spring time. In summer, you’ll see the young ones around. They look like the adults, but have a lot of spots, similar to other thrushes. That’ll wrap it up for today. Next time, we’ll head back to the water for the Northern Shoveler! See you all then!

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