Unlocking Nutritious Secrets of Robins: A Healthy Eating Guide

on Jul 01, 2022
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Robins are more than just a pretty sight in your backyard. Did you know that they are one of the first birds to sing in the morning and one of the last to stop singing at night? That's right! They are early birds and night owls.

Another fun fact about robins is that they have a unique way of walking. When they're on the ground, they take a few quick steps and then stop abruptly, often cocking their heads to listen for worms or insects. It's like they're doing a little dance!

This article explores how to feed and nourish robins in your backyard properly. You'll learn the best ground feeding methods, nutritious food options, and effective feeding tips to attract these beloved birds and promote their health.

What Do Robins Eat?

Robins are omnivorous birds that primarily feed on insects and earthworms. They use their excellent vision and hearing to detect and hunt for these food sources on the ground. However, robins also enjoy eating various other foods, including fruits, berries, and seeds. Their favorite fruits include fresh strawberries, apples, and blueberries, which can be cut into small pieces and left out for them to eat. Additionally, they like to eat suet, mealworms, sunflower hearts, and raisins, making them versatile birds for feeding.

Providing a diverse diet for robins is important to ensure they have the nutrients to stay healthy and strong throughout the year, especially during the colder months when food sources are scarcer.

American robin eating a berry
American Robin eating berries from a bush.

How to Feed Robins in Your Yard

There are many ways to feed the robins in your garden.

The Ground Method

If you want to feed robins in your yard, there are a few different ways you can do so. One of the simplest ways is to scatter dried mealworms, seeds, or berries throughout your lawn, especially on the grass where robins typically search for earthworms.

However, it's crucial to avoid using pesticides in your yard. Pesticides are harmful to all bird species, and they are particularly dangerous for young robins. So, if you use pesticides, do not put food on the ground for the birds.

  Robin with her chicks

Ground Feeding Trays

Ground feeding trays with flat tops are another good option, and you can create a blend of mealworms, birdseed with wild berries, and sunflower hearts to put in your tray.

Bird Tables

Bird tables with roofs can also help protect the food from predators and moisture, and you can offer suet, mealworms, seeds, and raisins to the robins. Removing any wet food is important to prevent mold or bacteria growth.

Finally, you can provide fresh water for the birds to drink and bathe in and even add a birdbath to your yard to attract more robins.

Overall, offering a diverse range of food sources and feeding options can help ensure that the robins in your yard have the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy.

Hanging Bird Feeders

Robins are ground-feeding birds, meaning they primarily search for food on the ground rather than in the air or hanging feeders. They have a unique way of walking, taking a few quick steps and stopping abruptly, often cocking their heads to listen for worms or insects. Hanging bird feeders typically hold seeds or other foods that are not as appealing to robins, so they are less likely to visit them.

Additionally, robins are generally too large to perch on small hanging feeders designed for smaller birds like finches or chickadees. Therefore, to attract robins to your yard, it is best to focus on ground-level feeding options, such as scattering dried mealworms or seeds on the grass or using ground feeding trays or bird tables.

Feeding Tips for Robins

1. Always provide fresh water for visiting birds to drink and take baths.  Clean the bowl and replenish the water supply daily since birds like to do their #2s in it! Also, mosquitoes love stagnant water to lay their eggs in, so by dumping the water daily, you will ensure mosquitoes will not flourish in your yard!

2. Since robins love mealworms, you can soak dried mealworms in water before adding them to your feeding tray. This gives the robins some additional hydration from the food.

3. American Robins love fruit. You can cut fresh strawberries, apples, and blueberries into small pieces and leave them out for the robins.

Never Feed a Robin These Things!

Feeding robins milk or bread is not recommended because it can harm their health. Milk is not a suitable food for birds because they cannot digest it properly, which can lead to digestive problems and diarrhea.

Bread is also not a good choice because it does not provide the right nutrients or energy source that birds need to survive. In the winter, when food is scarce, robins need a lot of high-quality food to help keep them warm and strong; bread does not provide this. Therefore, it is best to avoid feeding robins milk or bread and instead focus on providing them with safe and nutritious foods for their specific dietary needs.

Share your thoughts and feedback! Please let us know which kinds of food the robins like best and anything else you've noticed about caring for robins in your backyard.