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2011-11-30
Connecticut State Bird – American Robin


The American Robin - Turdus migratorius - is widely distributed throughout North America. This bird is considered a symbol of spring. These Robins occasionally overwinter in the northern part of the United States and southern Canada. Most however migrate to winter south of Canada from Florida, the Gulf Coast to central Mexico and the West Coast. Most depart south by the end of August and begin to return north in February and March. The American Robin is active mostly during the day and assembles in large flocks at night.

Description

Its head is black, with white eye arcs and white supercilia. The throat is white with black streaks, and the belly and undertail coverts are white. The Robin has a brown back and a reddish-orange breast, varying from a rich red maroon to peachy orange. The bill is mainly yellow with a variably dark tip, the dusky area becoming more extensive in winter, and the legs and feet are brown. The sexes are similar, but the female tends to be duller than the male, with a brown tint to the head, brown upperparts and less bright underparts. The juvenile is paler in color than the adult male and has dark spots on its breast and whitish wing coverts.

Call

It is among the first birds to sing at dawn, and its song consists of several discrete units that are repeated.

Food

Its diet consists of invertebrates, fruits and berries. This bird is frequently seen running across lawns, picking up earthworms. It forages primarily on the ground for soft-bodied invertebrates.

Breeding

This Robin's breeding habitat is woodland and more open farmland and urban areas. It breeds only rarely in the southern United States and there prefers large shade trees on lawns It is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its summer range. This Robin may have two to three broods per breeding season. Its nest consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers, and is smeared with mud and often cushioned with grass or other soft materials. The clutch consists of three to five light blue eggs, incubated by the female. The eggs hatch after 14 days, and the chicks leave the nest a further two weeks later. The chicks are fed worms, insects, and berries.

Conservation Status – Least Concern

The adult robin is preyed upon by hawks, cats and snakes.

Birdwatching

The American Robin has an extensive range, estimated at 16 million square kilometers and a large population of about 320 million individuals and can be seen in most parts of the United States.


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