Ten Common Birds Of The GTA

DeRango Productions

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Family: Turdidae

One of the most widely accepted signals that spring has arrived once again in Canada is the Return of the American Robins, usually in March, from their southern wintering grounds. This popular bird is easily identifiable by its beautiful reddish orange plumage. Ever want to sleep in some mornings and you hear a bird singing outside your window? Well, chances are it’s the American Robin. This bird is one of the first birds to sing in the morning, and is one of the last birds to be heard at night. They seem to enjoy a large part of each day. The American Robin is also the largest bird in its class (the thrushes). With its bright stand out chest, and it’s beautiful songs, the American Robin is a delight to have in your backyard. What better wing-man could you possibly ask for other than the Robin? Especially if you’re Batman!

Keys To Identification

Size:

They are about 8 – 11 inches. (20 - 28 centimeters) in length (fully grown), and weigh about 77 - 85 grams (2.7 – 3 ounces). They have a wingspan of about 12 - 16 inches (31 - 40 centimeters).

Description:

The American Robin has an orange breast that matches the color of its bill, a black head and belly, and has white tips on its outer tail feathers. American Robins are rather large songbirds that have a large, round body, long legs, and a fairly long tail.

Adult: Distinctive by size
Juvenile: Smaller Robins develop with black spots on their breast

Females: The female American Robins are paler in color than the male

Sounds Like:

Voice:

The American Robins are great singers, and wonderful songbirds. Their songs are often described as “cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up.”i

Behavior/Habits:

The American Robin seems to be a clever little bird. They adapt well to human civilizations, and if you see them in your backyard, chances are they would be hopping or running on your lawn. They also love to bathe in any type of water that you may have in your surrounding area. I saw one bathing in our water fountain in the backyard, just seemed like the Robin was actually playing more than bathing. These birds are also very patient, they can spend a lot of time standing motionless just starting into the ground in search for worms.(Like the picture you see above)  When it’s time to search for mating pairs in the spring, you may see the male Robins showing off in nearby trees singing, and puffing their throats in order to attract females. Often times you may also see a male and female Robin holding their bills wide open and touching them together. I guess the American Robin’s are actually romantic birds! When in flight, the Robins are strong, straight and fast!Just like Batman's trusty sidekick.

Habitat:

American Robins are common birds across the continent. You can find them on lawns, gardens, suburbs, fields, swamps and clearings. In the spring it’s easy to find them running across your lawn in search for worms. And in the winter you may see them in flocks on treetops around fruiting trees! They always seem to be around my bird-feeder. And yes, I guess you can find one in the Batcave also.

Food:

American Robins seem to eat pretty much whatever they can find. For the most part it seems that they really enjoy finding earthworms. They will also eat other insects, and fruits such as hawthorn, dogwood, and juniper berries. Juniper berries are used to make gin, maybe the robins like this distinctive taste?

Similar Birds:

 The American Robin is a very nice looking bird. And just like every other bird, there is always a similar species. In the Robins case, the Eastern and the Spotted Towhees are fairly similar in resemblance, with obvious differences. The American Robin has a long narrow bill, whereas the other towhees have short, thick bills. And the Spotted Towhees have white spots on their back, just like the name suggests. I also noticed that the other two birds have eyes that are much more red when compared to the American Robin. Take a look at the pictures and see the differences for yourself. (Spotted Towhee is on the left, Eastern Towhee is on the right)
 
Range: (the geographical area where this species can be found) 

The American Robin as you can see from this range map covers a vast area of land, in both Canada, and the United States of America. During the summer the American Robin will breed from western and northern Alaska, Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and everything in between. It Winters in parts of Texas, Florida, and even all the way down to Cuba.

Interesting Facts:

American Robins will eat a lot of fruit in the fall and in the winter. Interesting enough, when the Robin's eat honeysuckle berries alone, they occasionally become intoxicated.  

A notable fact about the original Batman series is that the Robin character was actually in relation to the actual bird. As you can see on Robins chest, he is sporting none other than the beautiful orange plumage!  

Other:

This is a video I came across that actually made me laugh because the song fit this profile perfectly! At least we can see how the Robins take flight! 

Video Courtesy of John Feith, 2007

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Credits:

"American Robin." American Bubble. Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://images-3.redbubble.net/img/art/size:large/view:main/1598277-1-american-robin.jpg>.

"Robin Feeding." Beach Watchers . Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://www.beachwatchers.wsu.edu/island/essays/images/robenfeeding3_000.jpg>.

"Spotted Towhee." Coyotes Call. Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://coyotescall.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/spotted_towhee.jpg>.

"Spotted Towhee." Outdoor Alabama. Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/watchable-wildlife/images/eastern%20towhee.jpg>.

"American Robin Range." All About Birds. Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/PHOTO/LARGE/turd_migr_AllAm_map.gif>.

"Batman And Robin." Top 2 Of Everything. Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://top2.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/batman1.jpg>.

"Fly Robin Fly." YouTube. Web. 11 Nov 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pjLyvO2TgQ>.

Ransom, Jay Ellias. Complete Filed Guide To North American Wildlife. Eastern Edition. New York: Harper and Row, 36, 152 - 153. Print.

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