You are here

How Long Does a Robin Live

Does the same robin nest in your yard, year after year? Probably not...
© Tom Grey View Large

The mortality rate is high in our familiar songbirds. For robins, it's around 50% each year once young birds have fledged. If a robin survives to midwinter, it lives an average of 1.7 years after that. The oldest robins in your yard might be about six years old, although one banded bird lived almost 14 years. Robins don't maintain their pair bonds over the winter, so they mate anew each spring. But if the same male and female return to the same territory, they are very likely to mate again.

Sign up for the BirdNote weekly preview email newsletter - the most colorful email you'll receive all week!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
How Long Does a Robin Live?

Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote.
[American Robin singing and definite spring ambient]
 Let’s assume for a moment that you have a yard that a pair of robins has nested in for 12 years. You may be surprised to learn that it hasn’t always been the same pair! Mortality rate is high in our familiar songbirds. For robins, it’s around 50% each year once young birds have fledged.
 If a robin survives to midwinter, it lives an average of 1.7 years after that. The oldest robins in your yard might be about six years old, although one banded bird lived almost 14 years. [sounds of winter wind ]
 So in a dozen years you've probably had at least a half-dozen robins of each sex involved in nesting. [Different song of robin and calls]
 Robins and most other migratory birds don't maintain their pair bonds over the winter, so they mate anew each spring. But if the same male and female return to the same territory, they are very likely to mate again.
 If the male has died, another male will likely take over the territory, and the living female may mate with him. Similarly, if the female has died, a new female will mate with the resident male. They may nest in the same shrub, if it's a favorable nesting spot, and to our eyes it looks as if the same pair of robins has returned. [More robin song]
 To learn more, come to birdnote.org. I’m Mary McCann.
###

Call of the American Robin provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song recorded by W.L. Hershberger. Call by R.S. Little.
Ambient recording by Kessler Productions.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org      March 2014

ID# AMRO-10         AMRO-10-2010-03-23-MM

 

comments 4Show

I raised a robin 3 years ago that my neibor found in her yard,I taught him everything and when he came back in Spring I found out it was female. She did not land on my head or chest when she saw me but did a lot of loving chirping.She built her nest in the mock cherry tree in my yard,but when a storm took it down and the babies were dumped into the soaking wet grass, I brought them in and got them dry, dried the nest put it in a hanging basket inside the tree,she raised her brood and hung around for raisins every morning. She is so much smaller than the other females, I guess because her mother did get to feed her,because I remember when I picked those babies out of the wet grass they felt like little lead weights,solid protein. Her name is Romeo,and she will e back this year if she is still alive.

Marjorie McEntee

I have a pet robin and it can mock almost any sound it hears like the phone

I have a make robin as a "pet" and he is always out of his cage around the house, so smart, so friendly and so cuddly. He is 9 years old this summer. He was rescued at a school after the nest was run over by a lawn mower, killing all the birds, except one baby. I raised him, and he never left. He lives in the house now and is my little buddy. Anyone can contact me at sriouxhx1@me.com

I found a baby robin in my parking lot so we took it in, it's been a week now since we got him or her. The first day he was very scared of us. Slept all day. Didn't like when we touched him, and now one week later the second we open the cage we have him in (rabbit cage) he flies onto our hand then jumps up to the shoulder, then to on top of my head. he will sit there for as long as I let him. it's adorable. If I hold him in my hands he falls asleep within a minute and will stay sleeping for more than an hour. He's very quiet but gets very excited when he sees me and starts chirping a lot until I go over and give him attention, and again he will hop up onto my body. He can only fly up to about a foot or two right now, but we are still working on the flying thing. I went for a walk today and went to put him back in his cage and he wouldn't hop off my finger, so I let him stay on my finger as I walked a mile around the neighborhood. He;s so happy. Such a good bird, I love him.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Related topics:

Related field notes: