American Robin

Nothing says spring like the melodious song of the American Robin, our most recognizable backyard bird. The American Robin is known for its ability to pick earthworms from the soil, but did you know that they switch to a diet of fruits and berries in winter?

More information

View the American Robin's profile on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.

Photo credits

Cover photo: By Elliott Colwell via Flikr

Collage Photo (above): By Richard Crossley (Richard Crossley) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Poem

Cheer up cheer up cheer up cheerily!

ABOUT ROBINS

The male and female have white around their eyes. It looks like a raccoon or a mask. They have rusty red chests. Their feathers on their belly look more like fur than feathers. The male's belly is kind of the color of dirt. Usually they're building a nest for their eggs. Most people don't know how easy it is to tell the difference between a male and female robin. They eat various fruits and worms. EEEW! DELICIOUS! SLIMY! DISGUSTING! When they're poking their heads, they're looking from the side.
"Tweet!"
"Build a nest!"
"Gather food!"
"I'm starving!"
"Squawk!"
"Can I please have some berries?"
The females have white under their chin like a little white beard.
"Please don't mess up my mom's yard." "Can you please stop eating my berries?"
"Can you be my friend?"
"Hi!"
This is a mean robin. Get off my property!
"Caw caw caw!"
Hey you robins, get off my property! Can you NOT ram into our windows?
"Caaaw!" "Cheer up!"
Syrup or cheer up?

A POEM BY BOB THE ROBBER ROBIN

Beak that's yellow.
Black and orange body.
A familiar bird to all picking at worms.
VERY FAT!
They have 4-7 pale blue eggs.
They sit on a tree and build their nests.
They eat insects, fruit, berries and worms.
Worms taste bad, icky bad, but good to a bird.
A female is similar to a male but has a gray head and duller chest.
Black eyes.
Black streaks on white chin.
Speckled chest.
The robin is calling my cats to the window.
"You can't get me!"
It sings really beautiful songs.
"Hello! What are you doing? What kind of person are you?"
"Stop mimicking me."
"What do you like?"
"Worms, berries, chirp chirp chirp!"
"Talk talk talk! Hey hey hey! I can't stop talking! My favorite song is 'Chirp'!"

WEIRDROBIN.COM

Searching for worms, it has a red belly.
It has a sharp beak, sticking through the dirt
to the worm tunnel. They were looking for
tree seeds. They plant trees. They're also
MURDERERS!!! They murder worms, insects
and anything!! There's an old saying:
"What is coming in is going out." Food
and seeds are coming into the robin.
They sing when they are in danger
or talking to each other. Their eggs are
blue. "Cheeryup! Cheeryup! Cheerily!
My name is Robin. I'm Batman's sidekick.
I'm Teen Titans Go! I love Penguin!"
What if he doesn't love Penguin?
"I'm a cat's feast! A dog saved me from
this cat." "If you see me, I'm the first one
and that means spring is coming."
"I love tigers. I like unicorns." "I eat
worms, insects and seeds." "Basketball
is awesome." "I like to dance on a tree."
"I hate dogs." "C'mon! Dogs are cool!"
"I wish I could visit Olympus and Pegasus."
"I wear tiny socks everyday!"

BLESSED ROBIN
Oh Robin, Robin
Red of breast
Deemed by some
The very best
In myth and tale
We invest
You with the grace
In our quest
To see in us
Your pure blessed
Simple beauty
And request
To show mercy
More (not less)
You took the crown
At his behest
From Him in pain
Leaving dressed
In His blood
On your breast
Oh Robin, Robin
Red of breast.

THE ROBIN COMES

The robin hops across the lawn
shimmering green
under new light of the sun
after the storm has passed.
The robin’s sweet notes fill the air
with promises of summer,
while the passing ghost moon fades.
The robin takes worms to fledglings
with chirps and open beaks
and songs of love.
Children on the ground watch
young minds filled with heavenly
thoughts
and touched by flights of fancy.

Birds eat worms. I like how birds are, especially the bluejay. Jay jay jay jay jay. But this poem is about the robin. What does the robin say again? Cheeryup! Cheeryup! Cheerily! I don't like cats. I love birds better!

The sea serpent in Big Spirit Lake
was like a giant underwater worm
being tugged from water by an even
bigger invisible robin.

I am so Famous they made a restaurant for me! :)

All robins are one
robin: shooting
like popped corks
from the grass,
wresting writhing
worms from just
below the surface.
"Worms are every-
where, just like
robins," say the robins
that are one robin.
Not like a broken
mirror, but like a giant
mushroom choosing
in its endlessness
to assemble as
an orange cap here,
here,
here,
here...

Dreaming of robin means
travel. Dreaming of robin means
neighbors may stop talking to you
but neighbors are not angry with you
they just can't see you there, in the invisible space of the robin.
Dreaming of robin means
hard work and cash money.
Dreaming of robin means,
"Yes, I'm sure."
Dreaming of robin means
babies getting fat on worms.
Dreaming of robin means
the end of dreams and fairy tales too.
Dreaming of robins means
you don't have to say a word.
Dreaming of robin means
[tea kettle sound].

All About Robins

The robin was dressed in red and brown. It was pretty the way he ate. They have their beaks to eat insects. They use their beaks to give babies food. It takes a day or two to build their nests. They have sharp beaks. They can fly high. If you come near their nests, the robin might poke your eye out! Ouch! They have blue eggs. The song they make is wonderful. The sound that robins sing when they tweet sounds so sweet. It takes their eggs to hatch a week. It takes three days to build a nest in a tree. The egg is blue. They use sticks to build a nest. They also use lots of mud. "My baby is hatching!"
"Danger! Danger! Danger!" They rest in a nest.

When robins hop it doesn't go that far.
Robins have beautiful voices.
Cheery up! Cheery up! Cheerily!
Robins make nests in trees. When they hop, they don't go far, but when they fly, they go VERY far! Robins have wings to fly. Robins fly fast. Robins are beautiful and they're beautiful when they are building their nests and singing. Robins have red on their BELLIES! When they do the danger song, it's warning all the robins. Robins sing songs and they're pretty. Robins can also make nests on the roof of porches. Robins can make a nest on the ground. Robins are black and red. They lay blue eggs. They keep their eggs warm. Robins can see far. Robins are protective of their babies. Robins like to stand in trees. Robins live outside. If a robin lived inside, it would go crazy. Robins eat worms. Do they taste good? Yes! No! Yes to robins. No to humans. The eggs of the robins have dark blue spots and they are small. Robins have short necks. Robins have yellow beaks.

Opportunists

ever exploiting
first to notice newly tilled black dirt
easy bug feasting
abundant nest material provided by
last year's green bean vines
common as a cold
gleaning our yards and gardens

PARADELLE FOR THE ROBINS

Surely, the robin is the sacred bird of spring.
Surely, the robin is the sacred bird of spring.
Abundant bellied, a little red stove of life.
Abundant bellied, a little red stove of life.
A stove of spring, the little bellied-of-red bird.
Abundant life, surely, is the sacred robin.

Awkwardly hopping across half-melted lawns.
Awkwardly hopping across half-melted lawns.
The way we hobble forth from winter, almost broken.
The way we hobble forth from winter, almost broken.
Hobble awkwardly across the broken, hopping lawns.
Half way forth from winter, we almost melted.

Taking, as we do, to the humble ground, stock-still sentries.
Taking, as we do, to the humble ground, stock-still sentries.
Foraging small selves into the empty, cold spaces of morning.
Foraging small selves into the empty, cold spaces of morning.
Taking stock of selves as empty, we do humble foraging
into the cold. Small ground sentries to the still, morning spaces.

Still-bellied, is the cold stove of life,
broken spring taking of the small bird sentries.
Surely, little hopping robin, we do hobble awkwardly,
as humble, half-of selves, across the empty winter ground
to melted spaces. We stock almost abundant lawns,
foraging a way forth from the red, into the sacred morning.

I’d rather be vulture than human
eat dead flesh
feast on the dead
prod the living to death because
it’s dinnertime in the always-open cafe
but if my givens and given my if and
wishes aching in nature
give me ochre red streaks
feathering my belly
make me robin
a robin the robin your robin my robin
like a pigeon but in every way not
plump and purposeful am I
will I be me, robin

Written from a hospital bed of Tabassam Shah 31 May....
4 am robin chorus, a surgical song of
healing disrupts my sleep
energy wanes yet the melodies pile on
high to lift me
the uncertainty of outcomes is remedied
by your persistent song
it massages my mind and bathes my
soul in sweetness
the redstart warbles with an infectious
rapid-fire cheer
in an effort to drown out the robin's
melodies
there will be plenty of time for the red-
start's antics and his tail swishing
for it is the robin's forest floor foraging
and the rustling of leaf litter which give
me the hope that healing is underneath...