: Turdus migratorius
The American Robin
is a small bird, reasonably similar in appearance to the English Robin
, but somewhat larger.
Appearance and Physiology
Both sexes are a similar size, and are predominantly grey. They have a darker head and neck, but with white patches around the eyes and on the throat. The male appears more distinctive, because of the reddish colour of his chest.
The birds are quite frequently 10 inches in length, with a wingspan of similar dimension. The overall posture of the American Robin is generally upright, and it presently a very smooth, pointed outline.
The robin has a small, straight and delicate beak, which is used to probe the ground for the invertebrates that the bird eats. American Robins usually fly for short periods of time, and must flap their wings fast to stay in the air.
Range and Habitat
American Robins can be found in all of the continent, except for parts of Alaska, and northern Canada. However, those birds living in the northern USA or futher north migrate south during the winter so that food is available. This migration is gradual, and the robins stop to eat and roost every day.
The ideal habitat for the American Robin is forested, but they are very adaptable, and live well on plains, or in urban areas. American Robins will inhabit any region in which they can find food, and in which there are trees in which to roost.
Behaviour and Feeding
The food sources of the American Robin are invertebrates and berries. The exact proportion in which these are eaten depends only upon what is available. Generally, the American Robin is more of a fruit eater, although it is versatile, and able to catch flying insects, or small sea-creatyres when necessary.
The male robin is the only one to sing. He sings during the spring and early summer, in order to attract a mate, and occaisionaly during the autumn. Song occurs at dawn, although the birds remain quite vocal throughout the day, and have several calls with which to communicate different situations.
Robins can cause considerable damage to crops, such as grapes or berries. They do help to control insect populations, and are not usually considered pests. Their appearance is considered endearing by many people, and so they are not hunted (beside which they have very little meat on them).
The first blue eggs are layed in the springtime. The average clutch number is about 4. After two weeks of incubation, and another two weeks in the nest the young are ready to leave the nest. A second clutch of eggs is thus laid about 40 days after the first.
The female takes care of most tasks related to the protection of the young, although the male will help our when she must attend to her food needs. Males often look after fledglings while the female deals with the next clutch of eggs.