SUMMER BIRDS IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO

North American Robin
(Turdus migratorius)

North American Robin in snow

One of my favourite birds in Southern Ontario is the pretty Robin, with it's lovely song, which to me is one of the first signs of Spring.

I will be posting a few wildlife pictures of the familiar North American Robin (Turdus migratorius), which is a member of the Thrush family and one of the most easily identifiable birds in Southern Ontario.

This Robin stayed a little too late in Fall and got caught in a snow-storm. I'm sure he left soon after this picture was taken!

Did you know that when Robins are migrating north in the spring, they don't actually sing until they get to their destination?

To hear the Robin's song, click here

North American Robin

In addition there are a couple of sites listed at the bottom of this page where you can find great wildlife pictures of the Robin and other species.

Most mornings in the Spring and Summer I wake to their song and they are often heard singing before a rain-fall.

Their song is the Robins way of declaring it's territory to other birds, so when you hear Robins sing in your back yard, those are the ones who have made their home there for the summer.

When the Robins sing loudly, people here sometimes say that they are "singing for rain", perhaps they know when a shower is coming.

These familiar birds are easy to identify as they have a red breast which is brighter in the male. The female is of a duller shade of red.

In young juvenile birds it is easy to see from their speckled breast feathers, that they are members of the Thrush family.

Mother Robin on her nest

FACTS AND FIGURES
The Robin is a medium-sized bird which weighs, on average 75 g, is 25 or 27 cm long and has a wingspan of around 40cm. They can fly at a speed of 60 km per hour.

The female Robin builds the nest and lays between 3 - 5 small, blue eggs which she incubates for between 11 - 14 days.

It takes the babies two weeks to be fledged and fly from the nest.

Often, once the eggs hatch, the male will take over the duty of caring for the newly hatched chicks, while mother lays another clutch of eggs and begins the whole process again!

This mother bird is keeping her eye on us, she is careful not to draw any attention to herself while she has eggs or chicks in her nest.

Robins are known to fly during the day when they migrate and they feed on worms, insects and berries.

North American Robin - juvenile

At dawn and dusk you will hear the pretty song of this bird.

The Robin keeps his eyes open for cats, Crows and Blue Jays who would love to make a meal of their eggs or nestlings and an adult Raccoon could eat a full-grown Robin.

We hardly ever see the Robin at the bird feeder as they seem happiest on lawns and open fields.

If you watch them carefully, you will see them cock their heads to one side - shh........ are they listening for worms?

Who knows!

But I do know that they find a lot of worms on our lawn after we have rain.

But I'm just glad that these cheerful little fellas are some of the beautiful birds in Southern Ontario!

Let us know when you see them!

Let us know where and when you sighted your first returning Robin of the Spring. It is interesting to see when and where the first Robins are sighted, so we'd be happy to hear about your Robins!

If you get a picture, we'd love to see that too!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Robins found our pond in a snow storm! 
On a snowy Sunday February 12th morning, a flock of Robins discovered our backyard pond. A sure sign of Spring! Thanks for letting …

First Robins of the year 
Marieann from Windsor, Ontario, wrote to tell us ... February 10 2016 - I've never seen them this early. Usually our first sighting is the beginning of …

Sighting of Robins 
Saw ten Robins in a neighbour's tree February 18th 2015, with one drinking from my pond. Isn't this unusual and do they know something about spring that …

Robins return on the coldest day of the year  
As Environment Canada issued extreme cold weather warning with wind chill values expected to continue to be in the -35 C to -40 C range, the Robins didn't …

So early!! 
It's February 3rd 2015 and my yard is full of Robins! It's the earliest I have ever seen them!! I live in Oakville, Ontario. I will add a …

Robin Sightings 
Frank from Markham wrote to tell us ..... I saw my first Robin on February 21, 2014 on the edge of our pond near open water, located in south east Markham, …

Flock of Robins in front of my house 
Spotted 30 to 40 Robins in front of my house in Etobicoke, Ontario, quite the sight, with really cold temps approaching next week, not sure if the birds …

My Pet Robin 
Well, to start off with my story, I have had a Robin make a nest on top of my back porch light fixture, she has done it for the two years now. I have …

Saw my first Robins of the new year! 
I saw my first Robin this morning, March 14 2012, and was very pleased to see the two of them frolicking out my sun room window. I usually don't start …

Not All Robins Migrate 
One misconception is that Spring has arrived with the first sighting of a Robin. Not all Robins migrate south for the winter. I've enjoyed photographing …

Robins never left 
All winter long I have been watching at least 10 Robins sit in my backyard. They go to a neighbour´s flowering pear tree and they are eating something …

Saw a Robin this Morning 
It is Monday, January 2, 2012 and the temperature is 0c. I live in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. It was windy last night and there were some branches that …

HELP!!! 
I have a Robin's nest on the down-spout of my eavestrough and this morning a crow came and ate three of the four babies. I saw the fourth one on the …

Help! How do I protect my Robins? 
I'm looking for some advice on protecting two Robin nests and the babies when they fledge. I've done research on the internet, but some worries …

Missing baby Robins 
I have a nest at my upstairs window sill and a Robin had laid 3 eggs. I watched from inside my home as the eggs hatched and lo and behold, three little …

Robin with great imagination! 
First of all, I want to tell you I saw my first two Robins on the front lawn, on March 17th this year. About 4 years ago we spotted a Robin sitting …

February Robin  
On Valentine's Day February 14th 2011, I couldn't believe seeing a Robin feeding on the tree berries outside my front door. It was -13 degrees celcius …

Robins already! 
Are the Robins back too soon? It's February 6, 2011 and there was a large flock of perhaps 80 birds in our backyard. Can they really survive …

Serge 
We had many Robins in our yard this year. However, all of sudden they disappeared. We live in Windsor, Ontario. Does anyopne know the reason? Thank you. …

Raccoons and Robins 
This summer a Robin made a nest underneath our deck. The first batch of 2 baby robins left the nest and I think they're safe and sound. The mother …

Help 
We have a request for help from a reader in Woodstock, who has found a baby Robin - I found a young Robin who is unable to fly .... where can I take it …

Baby Robin 
About a month ago I noticed a nest starting to be built above the light fixture by my patio doors. After a little while I noticed a Robin hanging around …

Broken Hearts, New Beginnings and Still Hoping for a Miracle 
NEW UPDATE - We now have more pictures of Gianna's baby Robin - On April 20th my children and I were thrilled to find a Robins's nest in the tree right …

Robin on the veranda 
Gail, one of our readers from Toronto sent us this report of the Robins nesting in their yard - We have a Robin nesting on our porch, in the space between …

Click here to write your own.

Robins sighted in High Park 
One of our readers sighted the first Robins of the season, Michael says - On February 6th, 2010, there were dozens and dozens of Robins at High Park near …

The broken egg and the sad Robin 
My little daughter, who is 4 years old, saw a Robin's nest on top of my neighbour's electric meter box 3 weeks ago. Everyday she looked to see the …

Last one out is a rotten egg!  
This charming picture and story are from one of our readers in St Catherines, Ontario. Thank you Natalie, for your contribution! We recently moved …

Robins make a home 
This article was submitted by one of our readers in St Thomas, Ontario, thank you Bev! We live in St. Thomas, Ontario. Much to our surprise, a robin …

Robins reach Eastern and Northern Ontario 
My daughter Rebecca saw her first Robin of the year on March 10th 2009, here near London, Ontario. Barbara from Peterborough told us that she saw the …

Robins 
Doug Cooke said ... I saw my first Robin today March 10, but 2 days ago about 100 Swans in the field on county road 12 in Laurel, Ontario, and …

First Robin of 2013 
This morning March 1st at 5:30 am as I was returning home from my daily hour walk, I could have sworn there was a Robin in our tree. He was tweeting …

My back yard Robin! 
Last week my Dad and I saw a Robin looking around the roof that covers our deck. A couple of days later she started building the nest and after she …

The Robins returned early! Not rated yet
Several of our readers have written to us to comment on the early return of the Robins this year ... Cindy Williams from Guelph, Ontario …

February 15th Robins in Stoney Creek Not rated yet
Walking to school my son took this photo today. We always have a competition on who can see the first robin of the year. Looks like …

Robins in a Snowstorm Not rated yet
This is the first year I have seen Robins in the winter and they are feasting on our ornamental crab-apple tree. It is quite the blizzard …

Robin sighting Mississauga February 13/16 Not rated yet
I noticed a Robin in our backyard on February 13, 2016! We have a heated birdbath and I've been putting out shelled peanuts & sunflower seeds, which …

January Visitor Not rated yet
About a dozen Robins frequented my backyard in the eastern part of Scarborough, Ontario, today, 24 January 2016.

Robins living on the lampost on my porch Not rated yet
I didn't notice until later since I usually pass through my garage, but some Robins have built a nest on my front porch. And now they have a baby so …

Nest  Not rated yet
We have an overhang on our patio and the Robins made a nest there 5 years ago. Last month they made a nest in the pine tree beside the overhang. …

Early Robin arrival sign of early spring? Not rated yet
The first Robin of the season has arrived in my yard in London Ontario! Seems very early. Is this a sign of an early spring or...? Hi Kim - …

Baby Robin "Little Freddie" fell but he's ok! Not rated yet
We found a little baby bird on the lawn under our French Lilac tree, my husband carefully put him in a small plastic planter that had soil, but no plants, …

A Robin at our door Not rated yet
For 5 years in a row I get a nest outside my front door. Not sure if it is the same Robin but for the first 3 years it dive bombed us as we tried to …

Lisa Not rated yet
For 5 years in a row I get a nest outside my front door. Not sure if it is the same Robin but for the first 3 years it dive bombed us as we tried to …

Help Not rated yet
About two weeks ago my brother (James) spotted Robins in his yard. He has a patio door off his bedroom on one side of the house and a big picture window …

The Robins are back! Not rated yet
This is Barb, your webmistress here, letting you know that the Robins returned to the London & St Thomas area of Ontario about two weeks ago, around March …

Robin spotted in Tilbury, Ontario Not rated yet
Robin spotted in Tilbury, Ontario near Windsor, on February 2nd, 2013 - I was out with my puppy about 4 pm and there he was singing away and it freaked …

Robins in Mississauga harvesting juniper berries in January  Not rated yet
On Sunday morning I looked out to see a black squirrel and about 10 Robins fighting for Juniper berries in front of my house. Thank you for sending …

Bird in Calgary, Alberta Not rated yet
Hello, I'm not sure if this is the right bird, but I can not find any other similar. This bird looked like a Robin but was the size of a Magpie (my …

Isabella Not rated yet
We live north of Toronto ,backing onto a forest, approximately 125 feet away from the treeline. We had Robins nesting under our deck where we have a walkout …

Click here to write your own.

The last day before leaving the nest Not rated yet
We have Robins nesting around our house every year since we moved to the North West end of London 4 years ago. The nest is built just under the roof …

American Robin Not rated yet
Few days back, say about a week back, I saw this bird trying to build a nest on my mailbox right outside the door on the wall. There was lot of mess …

Suicidal Robin Not rated yet
One particular Robin keeps bashing into our windows. Does this every morning for a couple of hours. Why??? This Robin is making a mess of our …

Melody Makers Are Back! Not rated yet
This morning -March 8th 2012, as I gaze out the kitchen window sipping my coffee, I spot "10" Robins. They're back...I shout out to my husband. Every …

First Turdus Migratorius of the season!  Not rated yet
My son and I noticed our first American Robin of the spring season on our walk home today. It is a very blustery, cloudy day. We each sketched …

First Turdus Migratorius of the season! Not rated yet
My son and I noticed our first American robin of the spring season on our walk home today. It is a very blustery, cloudy day. We each sketched …

Robin spotted Not rated yet
February 16th 2012, Looked out my window yesterday - glorious sunny day and 5 degrees out in Bedford, Nova Scotia, and there was a Robin on the front …

January 30, 2012 and they're here! Not rated yet
I went to work, as usual, and when I got to the front of my office building in St. Catharines, Ontario, there were at least 25 robins roosting in the trees …

January 2012 Robins Not rated yet
Today is February 1 2012 and I just saw my third sighting of Robins in my back yard. Last week I saw three of them on two consecutive days. Why …

Friendly Robin Not rated yet
I have a young Robin, that when I go out my back door, will fly up to me and land on my shoulder. Because this bird is so friendly, I have many pictures …

Company for the Summer Not rated yet
At the first sight of spring (which was a little delayed here in Calgary), my family noticed that we had a visitor busily building her nest up high on …

Robin moves with home owner Not rated yet
My son had a Robin that nested every year over the security light on the front of his garage. She became very tame and would feed her chicks and do …

Robin nesting in backyard Not rated yet
We hang our ladder on the fence behind our shed, when my husband went to get the ladder, a Robin had made a nest on the ladder with 3 eggs inside. …

Red Wing Black Bird and more! Not rated yet
An impromptu day off work proved to be an exciting start to March for me. On my way to work I spotted a Red Wing Black Bird in a bog that I tend to watch …

2011 Robins Not rated yet
This afternoon, sighted near St Thomas, Ontario, March 12th, a small flock of around ten Robins, the first ones I have seen since last fall. There should …

It's still Winter Not rated yet
Roberta, one of our readers in Toronto, sent us this report of her bird sighting - Today, February 7th, 2011, while I was walking my puppy, I saw at least …

Roger's Robins Not rated yet
Just before New Year, we had 6 Robins in our front yard, they were eating little blue berries off the tree, I think its a cedar. They are always here in …

Lost Robin Not rated yet
On Sunday, January 16, 2011, Jon & I were walking onto the frozen lake near our home just outside of Waubaushene, Otario. Jon stopped suddenly & said, …

A Question Not rated yet
Last week, while out for a walk, I saw many, many, many Robins, Blue Jays and a Cardinal. Don't these birds migrate? Hi Theresa - Robins have usually …

First Born Not rated yet
Dianne, one of our readers from Russell, Ontario, sent us these pictures of the Robins in her yard, she says - This Robin's nest is right beside our garage …

Robins nest Not rated yet
One of our readers from Scarborough, Ontario, tells us about the nesting Robins in their yard - We have a nest in our back yard, under our porch, in the …

First Robins of Spring 2010 Not rated yet
Sandy, one of our readers, sent us this report - My mother lives on Lake St. Clair, just outside Metropolitan Beach in Harrison Township, MI. She …

The Baby Robin  Not rated yet
Probably the first one I saw would have been about around late Feb or Mid March. However this month of June is what will stay in my memory the longest …

Robin in my Backyard Not rated yet
Ewa from Mississauga writes: I have a robin family in my backyard. They built a nest on a lamp that is installed on a post that supports my roof and …

Click here to write your own.


Links for the North American Robin

The American Robin - migratory birds in Southern Ontario
The Journey North - this is a great site with lots of information for children about this beautiful bird in Southern Ontario and across North America. Perfect site for children to use

Hinterland Who's Who - les oiseaux du Sud de l'Ontario
This Canadian site has lots of information about attracting Robins to your back yard, their habits and habitat

Backyard Wildlife Habitat
This is a day-by-day glimpse inside the nest of a pair of Robins, from the day the eggs were hatched until the babies left the nest - very interesting!

Area Birds Page
Return to the page where you will find information about more of the common birds in Southern Ontario - les oiseaux du Sud de l'Ontario

Flickr - great for Wildlife Pictures
Check this site for lots of Canadian Wildlife pictures, including the Robin, Cardinal, Canada Goose and more

Discover Southern Ontario


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