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American Robin bird picture


American Robin bird pictureAmerican Robin (migratoria) 10.00 inches

The American Robin is unrelated to the English Robin Redbreast (Erythaca rubecula), and is a bird of distinctly different character and habits. Nor is he very similar in coloring. Head sepia-black ; upper parts slate gray; tail sepia - black, the outer feathers with a white spot at the tip; eyelids and a spot above the eye white; throat white flecked with black; under parts ruddy burnt sienna; extreme under parts white. Female similarly but lighter colored ; the head slate gray.

Nest from six to twenty feet above the ground, in a tree near the house, sometimes under some sheltering projection of the house itself; it is coarsely constructed of grass, leaves, rootlets, and plant fibres woven into a inud wall or foundation, and lined with finer grasses. Egg a sub­dued green-blue without spots or rarely with fine brown ones.

This bird is commonly distributed through eastern North America as far west as the Rocky Mountains; it is also found in eastern Mexico and Alaska; it breeds from Virginia and Kansas to the northern coast of British America, and winters from southern Canada (irregularly) southward. The birds begin breeding from the last of March to the middle of May, and sometimes two, or even three broods are raised.

The Robin is essentially a ground bird, and spends a great deal of his time searching the meadow and lawn for worms and grubs. The Robin's song is such a perfectly familiar one that it scarcely seems necessary to furnish any records for other than the interest which attaches to the melody. Like all birds this one greatly varies not only in song but in quality of voice; but every individual singer ad­heres closely to the mechanical rhythm common to the species.

The notes are generally delivered in groups of three; sometimes a sprinkling of two-note groups occurs, but this forms no considerable part of the song.

Expressed by dots the song should appear thus:
* * * *** *** * * *** *** * * * * ***

The form is that of a disconnected warble in rather a narrow compass of voice, and with very slight variation. Some birds sing with an excellent pitch, others ramble along with no particular regard for key or melody. Indeed, it would require pages of explanations and notations to f ully demonstrate the truth of such a statement; but it would be questionable whether such an analysis of individual variation possessed any value relatively with the study of bird music.

It is sufficient to say that after an extended acquaintance with the songs of a number of Robins one finds that they are all distinctly different, and that one specimen in about ten is, musically speaking, worth all the others put together!