The American Robin is a harbinger of spring. As soon as we see those familiar red breasted birds bopping across our lawns, heads tilted to the side, yellow beaks hovering hopefully for a breakfast worm, we know winter is finally releasing its hold.
They are more closely related to Eurasian blackbirds than European robins, but their red breasts reminded homesick settlers of the little robins they knew back home, and so the American Robin was named.
Above is the European Robin, more commonly known as a robin or robin redbreast.
Above is the much larger American Robin – also usually simply referred to as a robin. It is the most abundant bird in North America, surpassing even blackbirds and starlings in number. This is due in large part to robins raising not one, but three batches of babies in a single summer.
The Chippewa (later known as Ojibwa or Anishnaabe people) associated robins with happiness, seeing them as symbols of peace and joy. Their tribes predominately lived in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Ontario, Canada; all areas where spring – and migratory robins – would have been a much celebrated event.
European robins dine on small insects and berries, while their American counterparts relish earthworms as well. They rarely indulge in the seeds we put out in feeders, but will appreciate offerings of fruit, fresh or dried. A birdbath is a surefire way to bring them to your yard.
And who doesn’t thrill to the sound of a robin’s song?
To hear what this sounds like click here
Or if you live in North America, simply go outside and enjoy!