RSS Feed
Email this article
Printer friendly page

Ask Rick A Question


American Robin


Summary: American robins may become nuisances to people by tapping on reflective surfaces, such as windowpanes and mirrors. They may also wake people up very early in the morning because that is their favorite time to sing.

Wisconsin's claims the American robin as its state bird, but this bird can be found all over North America. The American robin is a songbird with a high-pitched, upbeat tune. The robin sings when it is hungry or to warn other robins against predators. It especially enjoys singing early in the morning, and is usually the first bird to do so at dawn. So, while you may be annoyed by a bird waking you, to other birds, it certainly is a Rockin' Robin.

The American robin is quite a large bird measuring between 8 and 11 inches in height, and having a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches. The main physical difference

Robinfeedingchicks2.jpg

between a male and female American robin is that the female usually has feathers that are paler in color. Both males and females have white moon-shaped patches surrounding their eyes. They have brown feathers and red or orange feathers on their breast. They have white feathers on their throat and near their tail, as well as a yellow bill.

Female robins guard the nest, while male robins assemble in roosts. There can be hundreds of thousands of robins in a single roost alone. That is one big party! Females join the males when they are done nesting.

American robins typically breed from April through July. The females make nests out of mud, twigs, grass, and feathers. American robins usually lay eggs two or three times each year, with about three to five eggs per brood. A new nest is built for each brood. Only about 40 percent of nests produce healthy young robins.

The eggs of a robin are about an inch in length and are blue. (This is where Crayola got the idea for the crayon called Robin's Egg Blue!) As with many other types of birds, there are albino robins. Partial albino robins can have pure white feathers and normal eye coloration. True albino robins, however, lack pigmentation in their eyes. This causes them to be blind at a very early age.

American robins like to eat fruit, berries, caterpillars, earthworms, beetle grubs, grasshoppers, and even small snakes. Their appetites change depending on the time of day. These robins each have an esophagus that widens in order for them to store food. The males and females both try to gather as much food as possible for their young chicks. They can feed the chicks up to one hundred times per day. And, humans complain when they have to get up once in the middle of the night to feed a new baby.

The average lifespan of an American robin is about six years. One robin was known to live for fourteen years, but this lifespan is extremely rare.

robineggs.jpg

American robins like to fly around gardens, yards, and forest areas. You might see robins flying around your yard, searching for food, and returning home to their nests deep inside your trees or shrubs.

Now that you have some background on the American robin, you may be wondering why such an intricate bird could be a pest to you and your family. Well, the robin could eat any plants that you may be growing. Also, it could cause damage to your windshields, windowpanes, mirrors, and other reflective surfaces by pecking at them. They often build their nests in places you would prefer to remain nest-free.

If you discover a robin's nest on your property, a good suggestion is to leave it alone. If you move it, the mother robin may not return to the nest, not due to human handling, but because she does not associate the nest with the new surroundings.

There is a good chance that not all of the eggs in the nest will develop into young robins. If this is the case, the adult robins will dispose of the bad eggs after the others have hatched. So, if you physically move or touch the nest, the adult robins will not return and some of the eggs will go rotten. I guarantee you do not want that smell lingering in your backyard.

The good news is that the female robin only takes two weeks to incubate the eggs, and the young robins only take an additional two weeks to mature. They will then leave the nest, and the female robin will either build a new one or fly south for the winter. You can dispose of the nest as soon as the robins leave it. However, if you notice that the female robin begins to build a new nest, you should move it or knock it down before she hatches her eggs. Otherwise, you will have to repeat the cycle again.

Unfortunately, you are going to have to become a morning person for about a month because the robins will be singing bright and early to wake you up.





Ask Rick A Question

Comments

Christina
02 May 2013, 21:11
Hello,

I don't know if this comment section is still active, but I'll give it a try. I was giving a honeysuckle bush a very much needed deep pruning when I came upon a robin's nest (there's one egg in there). It was too late. I'd already pruned off much of the cover. I was still there when the mother came back, and she started sounding what I took to be a distress chirp. My worry is that predators will see the egg and take it. Is that possible?
Ask the Exterminator
03 May 2013, 07:39
This site is alive and well, but you posted your question in the comments box. Regardless, the egg will be found and eaten. That's Nature's way. The robin will quickly produce more eggs, so not to worry.
James
02 Jun 2013, 07:22
Why do some chirp all day and all night without stop?
Only one lives in a tree behind my apartment and I have noticed it has never stopped chirping for the last month.
Also, Is there any way to make it move on to another tree or area?
Can't have the window open without going insane because of it.
Amy
04 Jun 2013, 21:02
We have 3 baby robins that hatched about 5 days ago... one of the babies has fallen out a couple of times because it looks like the bottom has given way. Is there anything I can do to fix the nest or will the mother robin fix it?
Loretta Ayers
06 Jun 2013, 09:29
If the robin has left a nest of eggs, should I throw out the whole nest? She has re used it many times. I saw her sitting near it, but for some reason she won't sit on the eggs anymore. It's been 3 days. She keeps coming back & then just flying away. Is she waiting for me to throw the eggs away? And will she build a new nest, or use this one Again?
Ask the Exterminator
06 Jun 2013, 15:01
Is she waiting for you to throw the eggs away? Have you discovered some new form of communication with another species? No, she is not waiting for you to do anything, nor should you. I would remove the nest if it sits on your house because of the mites that could infest your home.
carolyn
10 Jun 2013, 06:30
I hate Robins they are annoying as heck. I've had this one stupid robins I don't care I've thrown at it, made noise over it for hours this stupid bird will not move on. I hate this loud chirping retarded ass bird. How can I get it to get the hell away from my house making noise at 2am to 5am EVERY morning?
CarolynC
10 Jun 2013, 06:35
Not to mention this bird started doing it's chirping at 2am back in April 2013 it's now June 2013.
riley
20 Jun 2013, 22:51
What happened to the female robin if the male is the onlybone feeding the babies? Will they survive?
Ask the Exterminator
21 Jun 2013, 09:52
They should if the male continues to be attentive.
dawn
21 Jun 2013, 18:17
We had robins build a nest by our front door. The babies flew out this afternoon. How long before we can remove the nest?
Ask the Exterminator
24 Jun 2013, 10:52
Remove the nest now.
bob
04 Jul 2013, 08:37
robin singing all day for 3 weeks I am about to loose my mind...Im buying a gun
Kim
09 Jul 2013, 11:14
This is really going to sound odd.
I have a Robin on my backyard swing and has been their for 2 days now. I found that she has an egg on the cushion of the swing. The Robin sits next to it and one time put her wing over it but does not sit on it....Is this normal...this egg is white with brown speckles not blue....I don't know what to do...I don't want to take the egg away...I feel bad for her....she sits next to the egg and looks like she is incubating it but never on top of it....Any ideas or suggestions?
Eileen Kelly
24 Jan 2014, 13:59
An early arrival [third week of January 2014] of robins visit outside my office window daily. They eat the berries. One died and I think it was the one that was trying to eat a berry and might have choked or it died from the frigid temperatures. The weird thing was that it disappeared from the spot where it lay and the other robins kept on feeding. There were no footprints in the snow showing it was carried away by a human. What happened to it? Could the robins have moved it elsewhere? I read another comment of a similar experience, where a dead robin had been moved after a person had made sure it was dead and was in a different location not put there by the person who had found it dead.
Kristin
21 Apr 2014, 12:08
We have robins taking over our truck. They hang out on it all day and their droppings are ruining our vehicle. We've tried parking the truck in the nearby park for a few days, but when we bring it back -- they find it again! We also tried an owl on the back of the truck while its parked there. I heard that birds don't like owls. Well these guys sit right next to it!!! Is there anything we can do to get rid of these birds?? I don't believe they are nesting, because there is no twigs, mud, straw on/near the truck. Please help!!
sareesa ortiz
25 Apr 2014, 02:43
A robin made a nest on my front porch light every time we open the door she flies away ... I was going to move nest but when we came home tonight there are four eggs.will the birds become agreesive once eggs hatch ? We have to use the door but I don't know what to expect once they hatch. I don't want myself or children getting attacked by them as we enter and exit the home.
TomA
27 Apr 2014, 11:09
Hi there. We had a robin build a next on a window sill of our home. There were 4 eggs in the nest but we noticed yesterday the eggs and the robin are now gone, and a second different style nest is being built right next to the first. I looked around on the ground for evidence of the eggs being attacked and saw nothing. It is possible she moved her eggs to a different nest? It seems unlikely but I can't see any other explanation. Thanks.
David Dandurand
05 May 2014, 12:16
We have a female robin who has issues. It has chosen my car to perch on It poops all over it completely covering windows doors and mirrors with a quater inch of poop .It will try to run up the windshield sliding down pooping all the way.I will scare it off it will fly to the ground and watch me untill i leave then back to were she was. how do i get rid of it short of killing it. i cant wash my car a dozen times a day .Thank You Dave
jimmy6
08 May 2014, 14:58
hi how are you
Callie
30 May 2014, 15:44
We have a robins nest and 3 eggs on our front step but neither robin has been back since which has been about 10 days? Will they live?
Whickey
13 Jun 2014, 10:11
I've have the same problem CALLIE. It's been 5 days since the mother Robin has came back to her nest. I think the reason was we cut down several shrubs beside the next, but her nest is up high on our porch. Not sure what to do either, or if the babies will live???
connie
14 Jun 2014, 13:54
we have a nest of baby robins in our kids tree house. they have grown over the last week but the are no longer chirping. Do you think the mother left them?
Greg Walz-Chojnacki
16 Jul 2014, 12:15
I, too have been annoyed by the incessant cheeping of a robin in my back yard.

It seems like an alarm call, but since its young have probably fledged a while ago (it's mid-July), I don't know what it's on about.

I'm happy to hear it singing at 5 in the morning, but the all-day cheeping is rather annoying.

Any idea what's inciting this behavior?
*Name:
Email:
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my email
The box below is for visitor comments! Questions posted in this box may not be answered by Ask the Exterminator. For quickest response click on the "Ask the Exterminator a Question" link at top of this page.
*Text:
Security Image:

Visual CAPTCHA


 

More Articles Like This

  • Barn Swallows
  • Identify Birds
  • Feeding Wild Birds
  • Barn Owls
  • Backyard Birds
  • Identifying Birds
  • Scare Birds
  • Yankee Flipper
  • Purple Martin
  • Hummingbirds





  • Categories: