How to Identify an American Robin

Many consider the American robin's bright red breast a sign of spring. Learn what a robin looks like and where to find them.

What Does an American Robin Look Like?

american robinCourtesy Ozzie Vannucci
American robin sitting on a tree

In spring, look for pairs of robins hopping around on your lawn. Both the male and female American robin are gray-brown birds with yellow bills and orange breasts, but the male’s head is usually darker than the female’s. Robins in the eastern part of the United States show white spots in the outer corners of their tails while in flight. Discover 15 common backyard birds you should know.

  • Length: 10 inches
  • Wingspan: 17 inches
  • Distinctive Markings: Male has orange breast, black head and tail, yellow bill, white around eyes and on throat. Female is duller.
  • Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius
  • Family: Thrush

Enjoy 15 cheerful robin bird pictures to welcome spring.

Nest and Eggs

american robin egg in nestCourtesy Carole Keskitalo
Blue robin egg in a nest

Robins do not nest in birdhouses. Three to four pastel-blue eggs are laid in a neat deep cup made of mud and grass. Fun fact: Robin’s egg blue became an iconic color thanks to Tiffany & Co.’s family jewelry boxes. Its trademarked, custom Pantone shade is No. 1837, the same year the company was founded.

Learn more about robin nests and eggs.

American Robin Foods

Roland Jordahl
American robin

Diet: Earthworms, in addition to insects and berries
Backyard Favorites: Fresh fruit, raisins and peanut butter

Robins do not typically visit bird feeders. Learn how to attract robins to your yard or garden.

Bird Song

Listen to the American robin’s song. Their loud liquid song sounds like “cheerily, cheer-up, cheerio.” Wake up early to listen for a robin bird call.

Learn the difference between an American robin vs a European robin.

Range Map

American robins frequently shows up in yards, fields, farms and woods. See the range map below to learn where to find American robins throughout the year. Do robins migrate south for the winter and return in the spring?

American Robin Bird Species

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Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find he reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.