Description of the American Robin
General description: Plump thrush with an upright posture, gray upperparts, and brick-red underparts. Length: 10" Wing span: 17 in.
Male: Averages darker gray with blacker head and brighter underparts than female. Western bird are paler overall than eastern birds.
Photograph © Alan Wilson
Paler overall than males. Western birds average paler than eastern birds.
Seasonal change in appearance
Pale brick-red breast heavily spotted with gray and black.
Photograph© Elaine Wilson
Open grassy areas with nearby trees or shrubs. Common in urban and suburban yards and parks, as well as on farms and in open woodlands. Often found near berry trees in winter.
Primarily earthworms, insects, and berries.
Forages on the ground for earthworms and insects. Runs with frequent pauses to scan for prey. Also gathers in flocks near berry trees in winter.
Very widespread; breeds from the treeline of Alaska and Canada south to Mexico, and from east to west coasts. Robins have a slightly increasing population trend.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the American Robin.
The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.
Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History
Robins actually use vision rather than hearing to locate earthworms, contrary to popular belief.
Song a series of warbling, whistled phrases, as well as calls resembling short, sharp clucks.