What’s the Difference: European Robin vs American Robin

The American robin and the European robin are separated by an ocean but share a similar name. Learn about their differences.

These two bird species share a name and similar coloring but live on different sides of the Atlantic ocean. Learn the differences (and some similarities) between European robins and American robins.

North American RobinABDESIGN/Getty Images
American robin

American Robin

Markings

Both males and female American robins sport bright orange chests and dark heads and backs, though the female robin’s coloring is often more dull. Learn all about robin nests and robin eggs.

Range

Look for American robins across the U.S., Canada and parts of Mexico, but they are less widespread in winter. We asked the experts: Do robins migrate and return in spring?

What Do American Robins Eat?

This species does not eat birdseed. American robins prefer insects, berries and earthworms. Here’s how to attract robins to your yard or garden.

Family

American robins are members of the thrush family, which makes them good singers. (Here’s how to tell if you’re hearing a robin’s song!)

American Robin Behavior

These birds typically join large flocks of other robins during the fall and winter.

European robinkipperfletcher23/Getty Images
European robin

European Robin

Markings

Males and female European robins look similar with orange faces and chests—sometimes outlined with a grayish border—and olive-brown heads and backs.

Range

Look for European robins throughout Europe and western Asia, and locally in northern Africa. Learn about western birds and their eastern counterparts.

What Do European Robins Eat?

This species eats mostly insects but also enjoys berries. Check out this list of the best berry bushes to grow to attracting more birds.

Family

The European robin is a member of the Old World flycatchers family.

European Robin Behavior

It is known for being more solitary in all seasons than the American robin.

Next, check out 15 common backyard birds you should know.

Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is an editor, writer and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She’s been with the magazine since 2019 and with Trusted Media Brands since 2012. She brings more than 10 years of editorial experience to Birds & Blooms and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. In her role, Molly works closely with bird experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman and gardening expert Melinda Myers, in addition to the Birds & Blooms freelance writers. Molly was featured in a May 2023 episode of The Thing With Feathers birdwatching podcast. She's a member of the nonprofit Friends of Wehr Nature Center in Franklin, Wisconsin, a popular location for birdwatching in southeastern Wisconsin. She goes out birding often and is still hoping to spot a tufted titmouse in the near future.