The American Robin is most commonly associated with the phrase “The early bird gets the worm”, which is an accurate description of this species! The American Robin is up early digging through garden soil in search of earthworms. It has a distinctive song that can bring any place to life. The American Robin is one of the best signs that spring is coming, as they will mass-migrate northwards as the new season begins.
While the American Robin is known best for eating worms, did you know that their diet is primarily berries? They even are willing to eat other strange critters, like spiders, termites, snails, and flies!
Read on to learn more about the American Robin’s diet and how they utilize your backyard to get their full range of food!
What Do American Robins Eat in the Wild?
Most people know the American Robin because of how much time they spend picking through the dirt in search of earthworms. This bird eats a lot of insects, and that includes spiders, millipedes, centipedes, spiders, flies, termites, and snails, too! The American Robin will also eat a lot of berries from trees and bushes.
On very rare occasions, these birds have been seen eating very small snakes (smaller than 8 inches) and fish fry from rivers and oceans.
Do Robins Eat Birdseed?
No, robins are not known for eating birdseed. Their diet consists mainly of berries and insects. Though they might try some sunflower seeds, they far prefer to go foraging and look around for other bird feeder delicacies, such as dried mealworms or dried berries. The best way to attract an American Robin to your feeder is to scatter dried mealworms on the ground, as they love the protein, especially during the months of spring and summer.
What Do Robins Eat in the Spring?
While berries make up the majority of an American Robin’s diet, they are going to eat the most insects and earthworms during the spring months. The proteins they get from the earthworms and other insects, such as termites, spiders, snails, and flies, help them to raise their young and rebuild muscle from their exhausting migration path.
What Do Robins Eat in the Summer?
As the heat of summer comes, the American Robin is going to spend most of its time foraging for earthworms and other insects in the mornings and at dusk when it’s cooler. After the sun rises, these keen birds are going to take to the trees and hide in the shade, searching for the occasional berry as some begin to ripen leading into the fall and winter months.
What Do Robins Eat in the Fall?
As winter comes, the American Robin has to switch its diet to something more calorie-dense. During the fall, a robin is going to start eating almost entirely berries, with occasional supplements of worms and insects.
Not only are worms and insects less active during the fall, the calories, fat, and energy that an American Robin can get from fruits and berries will help it move southward for the winter.
What Do Robins Eat in the Winter?
During the winter, an American Robin is going to eat a lot of berries. These are high in calories and natural sugars, which provide the robins with quick energy to migrate to the southernmost points of the United States and into Mexico. Additionally, during the winter months, their favorite insects are going to be all underground.
American Robins love blueberries, blackberries, holly, juniper, and dogwood berries.
How Do Robins Find Food?
The American Robin is going to use its sharp sense of sight to find any bugs that it sees moving around on the ground or through the air. These birds will spend their mornings picking through grassy areas in search of movement, which is a great indicator that they’ve found an earthworm. They will also eat snails and spiders. If the robin can catch it, it will get eaten!
The American Robin will also use its sense of sight to pick out any colorful berries nearby.
What Do Baby Robins Eat?
At birth, a young robin will eat small earthworm chunks that its parent will break down for it. As the baby starts getting bigger and bigger, the adult American Robins will start giving it larger food options, until it can eat a whole earthworm. In about thirteen days, the baby will fledge and be ready to leave the nest.
How Can You Feed Wild Robins?
Unlike a lot of other American songbirds, the American Robin does not like birdseed. If you are hoping to attract one into your yard through food, try leaving scattered bits of mealworm, fruit, or berries on the ground outside by your birdfeeder. You can also try planting berry bushes or berry trees in your yard, as these are a sustainable way to support American Robins for years to come.
How Do I Attract Robins to My Yard?
Your best bet for attracting American Robins is to offer them food and water; try scattering dried mealworms and berries on the ground outside. As the American Robin forages for its own food, it is likely to see these and come eat them! They are known for their attentive eyesight, and their keen foraging abilities help them survive.
Putting a birdbath out in your yard is going to encourage American Robins to come into your yard and stay. While many places offer American Robins food, not all of them have a steady supply of freshwater.
What Do Robins Drink?
Robins need to drink many times every day and like to take baths regularly. If they have access to a nearby birdbath, the American Robin will use it multiple times a day, for both drinking and bathing. During the hot spring and summer months, a robin will spend many minutes relaxing in the shade and letting the cool water bring them some peace.
What Eats Robins?
Robins have many natural predators, including owls, hawks, and eagles. If the robin isn’t prepared, it can also easily fall prey to a bobcat, lynx, or fox.
Domesticated cats, if let outside, commonly catch the American Robin. Crows and blue jays are also known to terrorize the nests of American Robins and eat their young. Blue jays are particularly known for taking the bright blue eggs of these birds and eating the yolk inside. It is much more uncommon for them to eat the babies once they have hatched.