AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
The American robin is a very familiar bird in cities, for example in parks, actually wherever a lawn is found. This bird seems to be able to extract worms at will from the ground, one of its favorite foods. In so doing it may walk fast, then stop abruptly, and slightly bend its head to listen to the sound of an earthworm moving underground, then will strike its prey with precision, pulling it out with little tugs at a time to prevent the worm from breaking up and burying its broken part back into the ground.
As with several other species, robins will overwinter in PEI if provided with adequate food sources, mainly made of berries. They sing very well, early in the morning and late at night, even during the night. It is much more pleasant to be woken up in the morning by a robin singing from the top of a tree than by the cacophonic raucous calls of a gang of crows! (as per video below) The proverb ‘The Early Bird Catches The Worm’ is inspired from the robin’s behavior.
Robins also love fresh berries, and will readily help themselves in a gardener’s strawberry patch if no bird netting prevents them from doing so.
The American robin can be very territorial. If it sees its reflection in a window it will think it’s an intruder and will lunge at it to chase it away. Result: banging itself into the window. Solution: install meshing in front of the window (a screen is not enough).
Because American robins have adapted so well to the human presence, sometimes their nests can be found on buildings. This one mother robin decided that a Christmas wreath on a house was a good spot to start a family.
In this first video an American robin can be heard singing in the early morning, while a group of American crows provide some ‘dissonant background decibels’….
Note on the video above: the American robin has a very specific call when holding food (such as a worm) in their bill (how can they do both at the same time without dropping the food?), as if to entice an offspring to come and pick it up.
This video above shows an American robin self-preening while well-sheltered in a white spruce.