Bird of the Week – The American Robin

by Bob Walker

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is one of the most well-known birds in North America. These members of the thrush family are common in Los Alamos all year long, and their singing and calling (see players above) from the trees in spring and summer is familiar to all of us. We had an unusually large number of Robins in the area in the winter of 2014-2015, there were fewer in the winter of 2015-2016, and there have been large numbers in White Rock again this winter, especially at the Water Treatment Plant at the Overlook. They also visit the nature center and the nearby canyons, but in fewer numbers. Robins feed mostly on insects and grubs, but in the spring they will also feed on seeds, grape jelly, and suet. They nest locally, and their heavily spotted juveniles can be seen from late spring through the fall.

Photo by Bob Walker
Notice the spotted breast on this juvenile Robin.
Photo by Bob Walker
Robin bathing in the springtime.

There is an excellent and enjoyable book, “What the Robin Knows” by Jon Young. It should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in the behavior of birds (that is, birds in general and of Robins, too).

Find more detailed articles about American Robins on these web pages: identify.whatbird.com and allaboutbirds.org, and enjoy more beautiful photos of American Robins at the Glenn Bartley and Jacob Spendelow web sites.

3 comments on “Bird of the Week – The American Robin

  1. My mother lives in northern Indiana and watches for the single Robin to return to her yard. She is fascinated with its’ territorial behavior and finds herself looking for it every spring. We do not know how long a Robin might return to the same location or if it has taught nestlings to come there. There is always only one. And it stays all summer. It has just shown up in the last couple of weeks.

  2. I once saw a bird fight between a brown bird and a finch family, and was surprised to notice one Robin, hopping around – just watching the fight with a worm hanging from his mouth.

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