Bird Sounds: American Robin

American Robin Calls

By Catherine Boeckmann
March 9, 2019
Bird Sounds and Songs-American Robin-William H Majoros, Wikimedia Commons

An American Robin heralds the coming of spring.

Photo by William H. Majoros via Wikimedia Commons

The American Robin is one of North America’s most common and beloved songbirds. Take a listen to their cheery song and learn more about the quintessential “early bird.”

Click above to hear the sounds and bird song of the American Robin. Compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Facts About the American Robin

Robins are fairly large songbirds, about 8 to 11 inches long with a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches. They are the largest of North American thrushes, almost half again as big as a bluebird. Appropriately, their scientific name, Turdus migratorius, means “wandering thrush.”

We all know robins by their round warm orange breast and long tails. The female looks similar to the male, just a little duller.

It’s fun to watch robins foraging on the ground. They will run a few steps and stop abruptly. In long grass, they even hop. Then they stare motionless at an earthworm with their head cocked to one side. Sometimes, two robins will even tug at the same earthworm, fighting over their food, which can be amusing to those of us watching from the kitchen window!

Robins are often called the harbingers of spring, however, they are often around all winter in many parts of the U.S. and even parts of Canada. They’re just roosting in nearby trees and their diet is mostly fruit (berries). 

You just start to hear them singing in the spring as daylight lengthens because the males start to declare their territories and attract females; robins are one of the earliest nesters.  Plus, you’ll start to see robins on the ground, especially on home lawns, as the earthworm start to emerge! They’ll even hang out near gardeners, hoping that we’ll turn over worms as they dig the soil! 

So, we think that you could still call robins’ song a sign of spring! 

Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning; consider reducing toxins from pesticides and fertilizers as contaminated soil particles adhere to the skin of worms. Robins also often ingest lead left over from leaded gasoline and paint.

Many readers complain that robins are a little aggressive. We would call them authoritarian. As early nesters, they are industrious getting ready to mate and brood and feed. Robins may have two or three broods a season. The female does the nest building, although the male might bring her some materials, making it of twigs, grass, and feathers and lining it with mud. She lays three to five bluish eggs which hatch in about two weeks. Very busy!

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Have you heard an American Robin? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Anamoly lasf Fall

I have been feeding wild birds on my property for 21 years, last fall (2018) I would put out birdseed and they did not come, my neighbor also feeds them, and noticed the same anamoly. They returned back last December. We live in the Cascade mountain range in a town called Cle Elum, Wa. Elevation 2,500. Have their been other reports on this?

Game

We play a little game in our family of "who spots the first robin of Spring". I will stop dead in my tracks when I hear one and scan every tree in search of my favorite song bird in hopes of being the first!

American Robin

I live in Westminster Colorado and I occasionally see a robin. One year there were about 20 birds in my tree. They must have been migrating through Colorado it was a sight to see.

After the rain

These are the first birds I hear after the rain or storm. It’s how I know it’s over. Guess it brings out the worms and they are reminding everyone it’s their meal

FACTS ABOUT THE AMERICAN ROBIN

The Robin is our favorite visitor to our yard both spring & summer...and yes we enjoy his song.

We don't see them here in Detroit Michigan in the winter even tho' you say they're here.

We do feed a group of 12 - 15 Goldfinches, a couple Snowbirds, several pairs of Mr. & Mrs. Cardinals, 2 pairs of Morning Doves and way too many aggressive Eurasian Tree Sparrows and an occasional male Ring-necked Pheasant...but with all that activity no Robins have made a winter visit thus far in the 10 + years we've lived here.

I enjoyed reading this article as I do with many of the fine features of the Old Farmer's Almanac...and getting to listen to a voice of a friendly Robin.

Thank you.

I love the robins and wrens

I love the robins and wrens that have taken up in my yard. I keep 2 feeders and a bird bath filled up for them. The little Carolina wrens like to nest in all my hanging plants. I also have the cigar-shaped birds that nest in the chimney; I can't bear to cover the chimney hole in the warmer months and deprive them of a place to nest, although the noise fills up the house all summer!

Waves of Robin

We have them here in Utah ,, Springville there has been more than usual..For about 2 weeks, We have grubs in the lawn so the more the merrier.. Got some more snow this morning. we have had a great water year so far..Welcome March to everyone.. Happy Spring...

Wave of Robins came March 12 to NE WA

They are here now that most all 'white' stuff is gone and saw them even grabbing earthworms so they've migrated up now too.......love sound of the Robin, now can distinguish it well from the Redwing which comes next here..........lots of Robins, so fat and beautiful, a pair always nest here every season in our Blue spruce tree in back yard and when outside cats get too close they will attack, seen it done! LOL

These birds wake me up every

These birds wake me up every morning. They nested in a planter hung on my deck. A baby fell from the planter and we placed it back and watched it till it flew away. Don't always see them but boy! can we hear them.

These birds this past spring

These birds this past spring in may made a nest under my back yard deck they haven't did this in 5 years maybe this was the year they decided to do it an they sound really nice too J.P Staten Is N.Y

i found a robin it fell off

i found a robin it fell off its nest, i could'nt put bak d nest was 2 hi.been feeding him rice,bread n corn tortillas mixed wit water fo 8 days,any more suggestions on what to feed him?he/she, is is quiet,but every time i play the robin's sound it starts chirping alot,so i play it often.thanks

Yes, a robin! That's what I

Yes, a robin! That's what I hear in my backyard. Thanks, Old Farmer's Almanac. 

At the first warm day, we see

At the first warm day, we see these birds in our yard and they start building nests
We live in northeastern Oklahoma.

I see these birds daily in my

I see these birds daily in my yard and on my walk to the river. This morning I kept hearing the most beautiful song and tried to follow this bird. I could not get a good line of vision on him in our woods to the river. I came home to listen on the Almanac and to my surprise it was the Robin! I am ashamed to say I never thought of Robins as songbirds, but what a beautiful song they sing! NE OKLA