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American Robin

Turdus migratorius ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TURDIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The quintessential early bird, American Robins are common sights on lawns across North America, where you often see them tugging earthworms out of the ground. Robins are popular birds for their warm orange breast, cheery song, and early appearance at the end of winter. Though they’re familiar town and city birds, American Robins are at home in wilder areas, too, including mountain forests and Alaskan wilderness.

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Yard Map Birds Eye View

Songs

The musical song of the American Robin is a familiar sound of spring. It’s a string of 10 or so clear whistles assembled from a few often-repeated syllables, and often described as cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up. The syllables rise and fall in pitch but are delivered at a steady rhythm, with a pause before the bird begins singing again. At dawn, the song is more rapid.

Calls

American Robins often make a mumbled cuck or tuk to communicate with each other or a sharp yeep or peek as an alarm call. They also make a repeated chirr that rises in volume and can sound like a laugh or chuckle.

Other Sounds

Female robins aggressively clack their bill if approached while on the nest.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Backyard Tips

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

Find This Bird

Look for American Robins running across lawns or stalking earthworms in your yard or a nearby park. Since robins sing frequently, you can find them by listening for their clear, lilting musical whistles. In winter they may disappear from your lawn but could still be around. Look for flocks of them in treetops and around fruiting trees, and listen for their low cuck notes.

Get Involved

American Robins are a focal species for the Celebrate Urban Birds! project. Conduct a 10-minute count and record whether or not you see robins.

Count birds for Project FeederWatch to help track the movements of numbers of robins and other birds in winter.

Learn how to look for and monitor robin nests for NestWatch

You Might Also Like

Browse through summaries of more than a decade of data on American Robins and other common species sighted during the Great Backyard Bird Count

Night Chorus: Robins sing in the glow of city lights

Robins as Far as the Eye Can See: Massive winter roost reported in Great Backyard Bird Count.

Is Your Sighting of a Winter Robin Unusual? A look at eBird data.

Q & A: What Happened to All the Robins?

American Robin: The suburban bird (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)