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American Robin Fact
Photo: Yves Poussart
||Adult males and females have a dark back and a reddish breast, although males have slightly more brilliant colours than females. Juveniles look like females but have black spots on their breast and pale streaks on their bodies. The average adult weight is 75 g.
nest in all provinces and territories of Canada south of the tree line.
Robins are absent in northern Québec and in the Arctic archipelago.
Map produced with digital range map files provided by the Canadian Wildlife
Service. To view maps for additional species, visit
|When to start looking
for nests in Canada?
|Beginning of April for southern parts of the country
Robins arrive in Canada in early spring, sometimes before snow has melted. Males arrive on breeding grounds first, sometimes as early as the beginning of March, and establish a territory. Females arrive a few days later and pair bonding occurs. Robins usually come back to the same area, year after year, and may also use the same nest as
during the previous summer. In southern parts of Canada or during mild winters, Robins can remain in Canada throughout
||Diversified: residential gardens, woodlands, urban parks, etc.
Robins were forest-nesting species but have, over time, become especially adapted to cities and open areas. They now commonly nest in gardens and parks although they can be found in just about any type of habitat, apart from swamps and marshes.
||Diversified: trees, bushes, vines, stumps, buildings (e.g., roof gutters), fences, open nest boxes, etc.
In trees, the nest is often found in a fork or on a strong branch. Robins nest early, sometimes before leaves are
out. For this reason, the first clutch is often
put in coniferous trees (e.g., spruce, cedar; well-hidden from predators) while the second one will often be in deciduous trees (e.g., maple, hawthorn). Interestingly, Robins can also establish their nest in open nest boxes (boxes without one of the panels) anchored to a tree or a building.
|Variable material used: twigs, dry grass, mud, scraps of cloth, etc.
Only females build the cup-shaped nest; up to six days may be required.
Twigs and grasses are placed in a cup-shape and are held together by mud. Strings, scraps of cloth and pieces of paper are also often used. The inside of the nest is covered with fresh grass.
Photo: Rudy O'Reilly
Photo: Rudy O'Reilly
||From ground level (not common) to 21m, but usually between 1.4 and 3m.
||3 to 7 eggs, usually 3 or 4.
Eggs are laid one day apart. The first clutch of the season is usually bigger than the second one.
|Number of clutches
The nest for the second clutch is initiated when young from the first clutch have left the nest.
||Light blue, rarely marked.
In Canada, only a few species other than the Robin lay unmarked blue eggs: Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Veery and Gray Catbird.
||9 to 15 days, usually 12 to 14.
The incubation period starts when the last egg is laid. Only females incubate.
||Robins are known to reject other species' eggs, including Brown-headed Cowbird eggs. However, a Robin's nest may, on rare occasions, still hold a Cowbird's egg. See
our Brown-headed Cowbird fact
sheet to learn more about this exclusively parasitic species.
|Age at first flight:
||14 to 16 days
||Young at the nest are fed by both parents, first by regurgitation, then by offering them larvae or whole earthworms. Once young leave the nest, they are fed by the male for an additional two weeks. This enables the female to start another clutch, if the
nesting season is not too too far advanced.
||Diversified: fruits, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, earthworms, etc.
The Robin's diet varies according to the season and habitat. Earthworms and larvae are mostly taken in spring while fruits make-up a better part of their
diet later in the summer and autumn. Robins can take a large quantity of chokeberries,
mountain ash berries, wine grapes and tomatoes.
||Robins are sensitive to pesticides used in urban areas and orchards. In residential areas, cats represent a great threat as they
often kill nestlings.
|For more information on the
visit the following web sites: