American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

A small dark bird with red breast, white eye ring, and dark back and head stands on a lawn.

Gordon Dietzman

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The American robin is a common bird found widely across North America and are familiar birds of our suburban environment. They are among the most numerous member of the thrushes and are certainly the most visible member of that otherwise secretive family of birds.

While considered one of the first signs of spring by winter-weary Minnesotans, it may surprise many that robins spend their winters not in some warm southern region but in northern cedar bogs, wetlands, and riverside thickets close to their nesting areas. We just don't see them very often in winter.

Robins are found throughout Minnesota on urban lawns and in deep forests during spring and summer. In winter, look for them along the rivers within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.


  • Key ID Features: Both sexes are similar. The male's breast is a brighter red; back and head are darker. Colors fade over summer.
  • Present in Park: Year round. In winter, check the thickets at Coldwater Spring and Fort Snelling State Park.
  • Habitat: Suburban lawns, open forests, city parks. Winters in riverside thickets. Nests are well-formed cups of grasses and mud, often found under eaves of buildings or in a fork of a tree.
  • Voice: A series of rising and falling notes, bubbly. Listen

Last updated: May 21, 2015

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