American Robin

Turdus migratorius

American Robin

American Robin in a crabapple tree

This bird is seen everywhere:  on lawns after a rain looking for worms, on wires and phone poles, in trees and even bathing in a bird bath or pool of water.  According to some sources, the American Robin ranks behind only the Red-winged Blackbird, and just ahead of the introduced European Starling and the House Finch, as the most abundant land bird in North America.[1]

American Robin

Robin bathing in a stream

Some of the robins seen in Peachtree Park are year-round residents, while others are migratory.  In February, March and April you may notice large numbers of robins passing through.   They breed throughout most of North America, from Alaska and Canada southward to northern Florida and Mexico. While robins occasionally overwinter in the northern part of the United States and southern Canada, most migrate to spend the winter south of Canada from Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico, as well as along the Pacific Coast.[2]

Robins are stocky, some being so plump you wonder how they get off the ground.  As songbirds go, they are among the largest.

American Robin - Turdus migratorius Peachtree Park, Atlanta, GA - March, 2016

American Robin eating an earthworm

American Robins forage on the ground for earthworms, grubs and other insects, fruits and berries. They commonly run and stop, cock their head and pull earthworms from the ground.[3]

In Georgia, breeding robins are abundant in areas with open fields in cities and towns. Robins are well established in larger cities in North Georgia where well-maintained lawns provide ample invertebrate food during the breeding season.[5]

When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along was a 1926 popular song written, both words and music, by Harry Woods.[4]  The song was recorded in 1953 by Doris Day, and again reached considerable success on the charts.  Bing Crosby recorded the tune on radio in 1956.[4]  The American Robin is also the species most memorable from Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” which illustrated how insect-eating birds can be killed indirectly from poisons intended for plant-eating insects. [3]

References and Additional Information

[1]  Wikipedia: American Robin
[2]  Cornell – All About Birds: American Robin
[3]  Missouri Department of Conservation: American Robin
[4] Wikipedia: When The Red Red Robbin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along
[5] The Breeding Bird Atlas of Georgia – UGA Press: Schneider, Beaton, Keyes and Klaus, Eds.