What Do Robins Eat? Best Tips to Keep Them Coming Back

What do robins eat? It seems so simple. If you put some basic bird food out for robins in your backyard, they will come, and they will eat. Right?

Well, we can’t just assume that any type of bird feed will work for robins. They have particular likes and dislikes, and if you offer them the wrong foods they might decide to go visit your neighbor instead.

But, no worries, my friend. We’ve done the research and will be happy to share what types of foods robins eat, as well as the best way to provide that nutrition to them.

By following these simple tips when setting up your next backyard feeding station, you’ll ensure that visiting robins will be happy and well-fed at your house!

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What Is the Best Type of Food for Robins?

what is the best type of food for robins?

Robins are insectivorous and omnivorous. What does this mean?

Insectivorous: They eat insects.

Omnivorous: Not picky, they’ll eat both bugs and berries.

The types of food that American robins commonly eat can be divided into three main categories:

Berries, Insects, Seeds/Other foods.

So, what do robins eat specifically? Let’s take a look at each of these categories in more detail.

Berries and fruits comprise about 60% of a robin’s diet. are a favorite for all kinds of birds, and American Robins are no exception. Fattier fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and mulberries are a particular favorite.  

They also love figs and grapes.

Insects can make up about  40% of the American Robin’s diet. You’ll see them searching for bugs or worms most often early in the morning, or late in the evening.  They spend most of their time hopping along the ground but will fly up into bushes and trees to capture prey as well.

They will eat more insects in the spring when they need the extra calcium and protein for healthy eggs as well as feeding the hatchlings.

Robins will choose more fruits and berries in the late summer and fall.

What other foods will robins eat?

They also feed on earthworms and other invertebrates such as caterpillars or insects that they find around their territory.

Robins will also eat many types of grubs and worms, like large earthworms, beetle larvae, maggots, caterpillars (they are particularly fond of tent caterpillars), grasshoppers, and crickets.

As far as ‘people food’ goes, robins will happily eat oatmeal, raw of course, but because of the high iron content, they shouldn’t get too much. It can be dangerous for them if they eat too much.

Raisins are another food source that will attract robins, and it gives them important nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, and fiber.

There are a number of foods that aren’t suitable for robins, and some that just might keep your feathered friends coming back again and again.

Let’s take a look at the kinds of foods that are not recommended for robins.

Don’t offer bread.  It has little nutritional value, and American Robins don’t eat it in the wild.

Nuts are another food that isn’t great for birds, especially if you want to attract them to your feeder! They can cause digestive problems which lead to malnutrition.

Milk should not be given to birds, including robins, because they can’t digest it.

Robins are small birds and so they are unable to consume anything that is too large.

How to Feed Robins

Robins will be more likely to visit you and enjoy your food if you place it out with these types of bird feeders.

Ground feeding trays:  Place a ground feeding tray or table in your garden with mealworms, sunflower hearts, and seeds scattered over the top. The robins will come to investigate.

Bird tables: If there is already a platform on the bird table, scatter some fruit and mealworms across it for them to feast on. This will encourage other birds too!

Hanging feeders: place seeds and nuts in hanging feeders for robins and other birds to enjoy. As for the robins, they may need a platform next to it in order for them to eat from it. Find the best bird feeder pole for your feathered friends, too!

Best Tips for Feeding Robins So They’ll Keep Coming Back

best tips for feeding robins so they'll keep coming back

If you want your red-breasted friends to include your yard as a place to stop, here are some tips to keep them coming back:

  • give them fresh water to drink as well as to bathe in
  • avoid leaving bread out, as it is not healthy for the birds to eat
  • stagger the food around your yard to keep spiders, ants, and other insects away from their food source
  • waterproof cover, which is great because these birds don’t use hanging birdfeeders so you can keep the food dry and avoid attracting ants and other bugs.
  • Robins don’t tend to use hanging feeders, as they prefer to have somewhere to perch while they eat.
  • Whether you’re using a table or a ground feeding tray, it’s vital that you don’t let the food get wet – soggy, moldy food can be dangerous for birds, which is why a covered tray or table is ideal.
  • If you are willing to create some landscape-specific designs to attract robins, be sure to include crabapple or cherry trees. Be aware that pesticides and herbicides could be harmful to the birds, so if needed, opt for organic options and be sure to follow the directions carefully.
  • Berries that robins will eat include blueberries, juniper, holly, mulberries, and winterberries

FAQ

How many worms do robins eat each day?

Adult robins can eat up to 14 feet of earthworms in a day.

What do robins eat when there is snow on the ground?

When there is snow on the ground, robins eat twigs and berries.

What do baby robins eat?

Baby robins eat lots of insects such as earthworms and large insects, broken down into small mouthfuls by their parents.

How do birds drink water?

Birds often drink by filling their beaks with water and then tilting their heads back. That way, gravity will make the water enter their digestive system.

What do robins eat in winter?

They are adept at finding their own food sources in the winter months, but they may also consume pieces of fruit like apple, or berries, or raisins, but into pieces and placed on the ground.

Conclusion: What Do Robins Eat?

Robins can become regular visitors to your yard, year after year, if you know what to feed them and how they prefer to eat. Making sure that their food source is set out in a way that they are comfortable with, as well as providing the fruits, berries, seeds, and other foods as noted above is key.

If you feed them correctly, however, it is possible for these beautiful creatures to become welcome visitors in your yard!

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