Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image A male robin perches on top of a wooden beam just east of Tooele City. Robins are estimated to eat up to 14 feet of worms in a single day.

May 16, 2013
American robins have several unique qualities

Coming from the Order of Passeriformes, the American robin comprises almost half of the most commonly known birds we see today, including wrens, swallows, sparrows, finches and rooks.

Its name originated from homesick English settlers who came to the New World and named the American robin in remembrance of the robin red-breast from their homeland. They have similar red breasts and reminded them of their old land.

American robins are a common sight in Tooele and throughout most of the United States. They are peaceful birds. They don’t cause harm to crops or gardening, and they eat away pesky insects. Robins also bless us with cheerful songs throughout the day.

The American robin has eyes capable of spotting the slightest movement on the ground, both during flight and while hopping. They have monocular vision, meaning one eye is positioned on each side of the head, allowing the robin to watch for predators out of one eye, while the other looks for insects. This also gives the robin an advantage when protecting its nest, allowing it to watch its young and for approaching predators at the same time.

The robin’s diet consists mainly of berries and fruit. Worms and bugs are just a portion of the bird’s diet, only making up 20 percent of their meals. It is estimated that a single robin will eat 14 feet of worms a day.

A mother robin must feed her clutch up to 100 meals every day until they are 10 to 15 days old.

Male and female robins can be distinguished from one another just by looking at their heads. Males have black-topped heads and females have gray-topped heads.

 

Addie T. Lindsay, 16, is an accomplished writer and photographer of wildlife creatures big and small. She can be contacted at CritterChatter@live.com.

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