American Robin

Turdus migratorius
Range Map

The American Robin is one of the most widely distributed birds in North America. In Canada they may spend summers, but when winter comes, they retreat to the lower 48 states and further south. These birds live year round over most of the USA.

Science recognises seven subspecies of American Robin, but there is much overlap in range, and their physical attributes aren’t dramatically different, except perhaps the San Lucas Robin (T. m. confinis) of southern Baja California. This form of the bird is smaller and paler than its cousins.

  • T. m. nigrideus breeds from east through Labrador and Newfoundland. They spend winters from the Maritime Provinces to the Great Lakes and south to northern Florida and Mississippi.
  • T. m. migratorius breeds from Alaska east to southern Québec to British Columbia and Alberta. They spend winters from Idaho to the central Great Plains, and from the Ohio Valley, the Great Lakes, and New England south through the Mexican Plateau.
  • T. m. achrusterus resides from the Ohio Valley east through West Virginia to the Atlantic Coast and south to central Texas and Florida.
  • T. m. caurinus breeds on islands from Glacier Bay, Alaska, south to Vancouver and on the Olympic Peninsula (Washington), and northwestern Oregon. They spend winters from southern British Columbia, south to the central California coast and inland to Idaho.
  • T. m. propinquus breeds from southern British Columbia east to southwestern Saskatchewan south to southern California and northern Baja California and through Rocky Mountains to northeastern Mexico.
  • T. m. phillipsi lives in southern Mexico.
  • T. m. confinis lives in the mountains of the Cape region in Baja California (Mexico).

American Robins are arguably the most popular of North American birds, and there is a lot to like about them. They are among the earliest birds to arrive after the winter snows have left the north. Their songs are sweet and melodic. And perhaps most endearing is their approachable nature in urban and suburban environments, though they are equally at home in remote forests.

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