Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)


French: Merle d’Amérique German: Wanderdrossel Spanish: Zorzal robín

Turdus migratorius


, 1766,

“in America septentrionali” = North America


Genetic data#R suggest possible sister relationship with T. rufitorques, with behavioural and vocal similarities. Previously considered conspecific with T. confinis, which see. Geographical variation rather clinal. Proposed race aleucus (from Texas) considered indistinguishable from propinquus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. migratorius Linnaeus, 1766 – Alaska (except SE) and Canada (except SW & E) S to C & NE USA (SW Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey); non-breeding E USA and E Mexico, scarce in Bermudas, N Bahamas and W Cuba.
  • T. m. caurinus (Grinnell, 1909) – SE Alaska and coastal W Canada; non-breeding S to SW USA (to CW California).
  • T. m. propinquus Ridgway, 1877 – SW Canada (SE British Columbia E to SW Saskatchewan) and W USA (Montana to California) S to C Mexico (S to W Zacatecas and Guanajuato); non-breeding in much of S part of breeding range.
  • T. m. nigrideus Aldrich & Nutt, 1939 – E Canada (Labrador, Newfoundland); non-breeding E USA.
  • T. m. achrusterus (Batchelder, 1900) – SE USA (Oklahoma E to Virginia, S to Texas and Florida); non-breeding S to S USA.
  • T. m. phillipsi Bangs, 1915 – highlands of SW Mexico (S Nuevo León and SW Tamaulipas, W to Jalisco, S to Guerrero and Oaxaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    23–28 cm; 59–94 g. Male nominate race has blackish head, white broken eyering, white fleck above lores, white throat with black streaks; otherwise, dark grey... read more


    Song, mainly before sunrise and in twlight before sunset, mainly by male from high perch, sometimes... read more


    Breeds in mature, logged and early successional forest and woodland, riparian areas, farmsteads,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily invertebrates (more than 90% of diet) in spring, equally invertebrates and fruit in summer, and primarily fruit (more than 90%)... read more


    Early Apr to mid-Aug throughout range (but juveniles as late as mid-Sept in Sonora, in Mexico), very rarely extending into autumn and... read more


    Migrant (primarily diurnal), partial migrant and (mainly in extreme S of breeding range) sedentary... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). The most abundant and widespread North American thrush and one of the most abundant and widespread of North American birds, thriving... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). American Robin (Turdus migratorius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 January 2020).