Robins migrate more in response to food than to temperature.
A welcome sign of the coming spring, the red-breasted robin won the hearts of school children across the state, who voted to name it the state bird in 1926-27.
I have never once missed to spot a robin in Wisconsin from spring to fall season. Ever since my childhood, I have this small fruit tree in my front yard and will always see two to four robins hopping on the branches stuffing themselves. They are easy to notice because of the songs they sing and their red belly trademark.
The robins have a unique flight and perching pattern. Their posture, by keeping their body horizontal and head up and beak slightly tilted up, help birders recognize robins from other similar birds such as cat-bird, towhee, thrasher, cardinal, grackle, and blackbirds.
The trend toward warmer winter weather helps robins in several ways. Food supplies, availability of open water and less stress from cold temperatures make it possible for these already hardy birds to develop winter territories.
Despite regularly being described by humans as ‘friendly’, Robins are very territorial and aggressive, particularly during breeding season and when food is scarce – if necessary they will defend their territory to the death!
Robins can be found in various habitats, including woodlands, parks and, much to our satisfaction, gardens. They are one of the earliest birds to nest, and their nests are commonly made from sticks, grass, moss and dead leaves.
Research suggests that the size of the robin’s distinctive red bib and the width of the grey feathers that frame it allow other birds to judge its gender and age.
During breeding season, male American Robins grow black feathers on their heads to attract females. Once the mating season is over, these feathers are lost.
American Robins eat large numbers of both invertebrates and fruit. Particularly in spring and summer they eat large numbers of earthworms as well as insects and some snails.
American Robins are fairly large songbirds with a large, round body, long legs, and fairly long tail. Robins are the largest North American thrushes, and their profile offers a good chance to learn the basic shape of most thrushes.