American Robins

Location: Sapsucker Woods

Camera Host: Cornell Lab

The robins have fledged!

All of the nestling robins fledged successfully, with two leaving during the afternoon of May 21, and the third departing during the early morning of May 22. We will be turning off the camera on May 23, but we hope to stream any additional nesting attempts at this site (robins often have 2 or even 3 clutches per season!). Thanks for watching and learning with us, and if you've enjoyed the sights and sounds of Sapsucker Woods, check out our Pond Cam or the Cornell Feeders for more.

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July 31, 2017

Life On The Ledge: 2017 American Robin Cam Highlights

Watch the highlights from a nesting cycle of one of North America's favorite backyard birds on the 2017 American Robin cam as a pair of robins raises their three chicks on a ledge of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

May 22, 2017

Third and Final Robin Chick Fledges the Nest

Watch the final moments of the last American Robin fledgling's time in the nest. After a brief early morning visit from the female, the nestling perks up and departs beyond the nest bowl for the first time! Now that the entire brood has fledged, the adult robins will spend the next three weeks following their young and providing food as they explore the areas beyond the nest site. More...

May 21, 2017

First Two Nestlings Fledge on American Robin cam!

Watch the first two robin nestlings take their first journey out of the nest. The nestlings fledged around 2:40 P.M. on Sunday, May 21. Only one left to go! More...

July 31, 2017

Life On The Ledge: 2017 American Robin Cam Highlights

Watch the highlights from a nesting cycle of one of North America's favorite backyard birds on the 2017 American Robin cam as a pair of robins raises their three chicks on a ledge of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

May 18, 2017

Female Robin Broods Nest Overflowing With Chicks

Female American Robins generally brood less and less as the nestlings grow large enough to keep themselves warm. At ten days after the first egg hatched, the female on the American Robin cam displays her balancing skills as she rests atop her ever-growing brood of nestlings.  

May 18, 2017

Robin Nestlings Perk Up for Worms

Nothing grabs the attention of an American Robin nestling quite like a bill full of juicy earthworms. 

May 22

Third and Final Robin Chick Fledges the Nest

Watch the final moments of the last American Robin fledgling's time in the nest. After a brief early morning visit from the female, the nestling perks up and departs beyond the nest bowl for the first time! Now that the entire brood has fledged, the adult robins will spend the next three weeks following their young and providing food as they explore the areas beyond the nest site. More...

May 21

First Two Nestlings Fledge on American Robin cam!

Watch the first two robin nestlings take their first journey out of the nest. The nestlings fledged around 2:40 P.M. on Sunday, May 21. Only one left to go! More...

May 16

Watch NestWatch's Robyn Bailey in Live Q&A on American Robin cam

Listen in to this Live Q&A with NestWatch project leader Robyn Bailey. Robyn touches on how you can contribute to science by becoming involved in NestWatch's citizen science program and answers viewers' questions about American Robins and the on-cam nest. More...

American Robin

Tree

Nest Placement

Female robins choose the nest sites, which are typically on one or several horizontal branches hidden in or just below a layer of dense leaves. Nests are typically in the lower half of a tree, although they can be built as high as the treetop. American Robins also nest in gutters, eaves, on outdoor light fixtures, and other structures. In western prairies, American Robins may build their nests on the ground or in thickets, while in Alaska they sometimes nest on buildings or cliffs.

Nest Description

Females build the nest from the inside out, pressing dead grass and twigs into a cup shape using the wrist of one wing. Other materials include paper, feathers, rootlets, or moss in addition to grass and twigs. Once the cup is formed, she reinforces the nest using soft mud gathered from worm castings to make a heavy, sturdy nest. She then lines the nest with fine dry grass. The finished nest is 6-8 inches across and 3-6 inches high.

Clutch Size

3-5 eggs

Incubation Period

12-14 days

Nestling Period

13-13 days

Egg Description

Sky blue or blue-green and unmarked.

Condition at Hatching

Helpless at birth, mostly naked with spare whitish down.

Insects

Food

American Robins eat large numbers of both invertebrates and fruit. Particularly in spring and summer they eat large numbers of earthworms as well as insects and some snails. (They have rarely been recorded eating shrews, small snakes, and aquatic insects.) Robins also eat an enormous variety of fruits, including chokecherries, hawthorn, dogwood, and sumac fruits, and juniper berries. One study suggested that robins may try to round out their diet by selectively eating fruits that have bugs in them.

Typical Voice

American Robins often make a mumbled cuck or tuk to communicate with each other or a sharp yeep or peek as an alarm call. They also make a repeated chirr that rises in volume and can sound like a laugh or chuckle.more sounds

See full Species Info at All About Birds

About the Robins

This pair of robins has built a nest on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, right near the shore of Sapsucker Woods pond. The nest is an open cup of grass and twigs held together with a thick layer of mud and lined with fine dry grass. The female built the nest from the inside, pressing dead grass and twigs around them into a cup shape using the wrist of one wing. This nest site is well protected from the elements, tucked beneath an overhang and out of the wind.

The male will bring food to the nest for the nestlings, but the female (who wears a band on her right leg) will do all of the incubation and brooding. American Robins eat large numbers of both invertebrates and fruit. Particularly in spring and summer they eat large numbers of earthworms as well as insects and some snails. (They have rarely been recorded eating shrews, small snakes, and aquatic insects.) Robins also eat an enormous variety of fruits, including chokecherries, hawthorn, dogwood, and sumac fruits, and juniper berries. One study suggested that robins may try to round out their diet by selectively eating fruits that have bugs in them.

Learn more about robins in our AllAboutBirds.org species guide.