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American Robins Notecard



American Robins and Wake Robin (Trillium)

The American Robin is a migratory songbird of the true thrush genus. Considered a harbinger of Spring, robins begin their return to northern breeding grounds in February and March. They begin nesting soon afterward producing 2-3 broods per season. Female robins build their nests themselves. The outer foundation consists of grass, twigs, paper and feathers. This is lined with smeared mud and cushioned with fine grass and other soft materials. New nests are built for each brood. American robins do not shy away from nesting close to human habitation but are native to woodlands throughout North America. A typical clutch contains 3-5 beautiful blue eggs which are incubated by the female.

The male robin, as with many thrushes, has a complex and almost continuous song. Its song is commonly described as a cheerily carol, made up of discrete units, often repeated and spliced together with a string of brief pauses in between. The song varies regionally, and its style varies by time of day. Singing from a perch high in a tree, the American Robin is among the first songbirds singing to greet the dawn and last to serenade the evening dusk. Robins also sing when storms approach as well as after storms have passed.

Trillium is a genus of perennial flowering plants native to temperate regions of North America. They are also known as “wake robin” from the fact that some trilliums will bloom early in the spring, before robins begin to nest. Another name is “trinity flower”, nearly all their flower parts come in threes. In folklore trillium symbolizes modest beauty.

Artwork by Susan Bull Riley © 2015

Text by Steve Sierigk