Robins are often associated with large songbirds with warm red breasts and black heads and bodies. Despite what it sounds like, not all birds with the name “robin” come from the same family. The red robin you often see in America is a New World thrush, while the European robin for which it is named is actually an Old World flycatcher. So, to avoid confusion, this article will cover birds with the word “robin” in their name. Discover all types of robins, including those from the Americas and other parts of the world.
American Robin – Red Robin Bird
If you’ve ever heard someone say “the early bird gets the worm,” they’re referring to the American robin. They live year-round in most parts of the United States, and they can often be found pulling bugs from your yard early in the morning. Breeding populations in Canada and Alaska spend the summer there before heading to warmer lands in the southern United States and Mexico. Besides in your backyard, you can find American robins in fields, parks, forests, mountains, and tundra. These thrushes are large with rounded bodies and warm tones. They have taupe plumage and rusty red underbelly.
Not to be confused with the American robin, the European robin, also known as the red-breasted robin, is an Old World flycatcher in the Chat subfamily. The American robin is named for its similar red breast to the European robin, but they are not closely related. These birds are grayish-brown in color with red faces and breasts and white bellies. They are found throughout much of Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa, inhabiting moist spruce forests. You can also find them in gardens and backyards.
The red-backed robin belongs to the thrush family and is endemic to Mexico. They are related to the American robin, but appear smaller and darker in color. Their plumage is reddish brown, with a dark gray head, wings, and tail. They also have a white throat and white belly. The brown-backed robin inhabits the dry deciduous forests of Mexico’s Pacific slopes, and some strays may reach the U.S. border. They’re inconspicuous compared to their American cousins, but you’ll find them in groups in winter.
white throated robin
The white-throated robin is a small passerine that was once considered a member of the thrush family but is now considered an Old World flycatcher, like the European robin. This species is migratory, breeds in Western Asia and winters in East Africa. They live in shrubs in dry woodlands. They are larger than their European relatives but are similar in appearance. These birds have a gray upper body and orange lower body, black face and white throat. They are occasional wanderers in Europe.
The Siberian bluebird is also a recently reclassified species, moving from the genus Thrush to the Old World flycatidae. This species breeds in the eastern paleoarctic and overwinters in southern Asia. They range from Siberia to Japan and Indonesia. They nest in dense undergrowth in coniferous forests near rivers or on the edges of woodlands. You can often find this species foraging on the ground or hiding in dense vegetation. Unlike the other robins on this list, the Siberian blue has dark blue upperparts and white underparts.
The black robin, also known as the Chatham Island robin, is native to the Chatham Islands off the east coast of Australia. Their species is endangered due to the introduction of mammalian predators such as mice and cats. This robin belongs to the family Petroicidae, which includes the Australian robin, a distant relative of the European robin. This species is all black and about the size of a sparrow. They live in lowland shrublands, foraging on the forest floor and nesting in hollow trees.
The Flame Robin is another Australian robin commonly found in the cooler regions of southeastern Australia. They get their name from the bright reddish-orange chest and throat. Their heads, backs, wings, and tail are dark gray-brown with white stripes on the wings and a white patch on their foreheads. This species lives in moist eucalyptus forests in mountainous regions of temperate regions. They are also abundant in areas recently devastated by bushfires and leave once the bushes regrow.
red cap robin
The red-crowned robin gets its name from the fluffy red hair on its forehead. Their breasts are scarlet, their bellies are white, and their upper bodies are jet black with white stripes. They are striking birds that are easily recognizable in their native Australian range. and are widespread but not particularly common throughout the continent. They prefer dry habitats such as scrub and woodlands. Although there is some seasonal movement, most populations are well-established within their ranges.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.