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American robin

American robin (Turdus migratorius)

Features and Behaviors

The American robin averages about nine to 11 inches in length. It has dark gray back feathers and orange-red breast feathers. The head and tail feathers of the male are black while on the female the corresponding feathers are lighter. The young robin has spotted breast feathers with an orange-red wash. A white area may be seen on each side of the outer tail feathers when the bird flies.

The American robin is a common migrant and summer resident statewide. It may also overwinter in Illinois, although many robins fly further south in the United States and to Mexico. Spring migration begins in mid-January with migration occurring during the day and night. Nesting takes place from April to July with two or three broods raised per year. This bird nests in trees, shrubs and humanmade structures. The nest is a mud cup with plant and other materials added. The female carries mud in her bill to make the nest. The nest is lined with grasses. The female lays three to seven blue eggs. The incubation period lasts 12 to 14 days, and the female alone incubates. During spring and summer the robin may be seen walking with its erect posture in residential areas, woodlands, orchards, parks and other open areas. In the fall, robins gather in flocks and move to wooded areas, feeding on fruits. This bird produces several different calls. Its song is a loud, caroling noise. The robin eats earthworms, insect larvae and fruits.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae

Illinois Status: common, native