The American Robin: herald of spring, cheery singer, and state bird for 3 states: Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin!
The robin is known for its round, warm orange breast and long tail. They can be found in all 50 of the US states and are found in all types of habitats from towns to gardens, and open woodlands to agricultural lands. A robin averages 8-11 inches long and can be found in large numbers during the spring through fall. While we consider them the “heralds of spring,” they can be found in Illinois all year round. In fact during the Christmas Bird Count around nearby Amboy Marsh and Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary (December 19th), we saw two robins and around the Starved Rock area (January 1) we saw 42 robins.
Robins can be fun to watch as they feed on the ground, eating fruits, berries, insects, and earthworms. Their method of foraging includes running a few steps and stopping abruptly. Then turning their head to the side, they stare or listen for an earthworm and wait for just the right moment to grab it or play tug-of-war when the worm is still partially in the ground!
Fun fact: A group of robins are known as a “worm” of robins!