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How Long Does a Robin Live?

Does the same robin nest in your yard, year after year? Probably not...
© Tom Grey View Large

If a young American Robin survives its first winter, its chances of survival go up. But robins still don’t live very long. The oldest robins in your yard might be about three years old (although thanks to banding, we know of one bird that lived to be almost 14).

Support for BirdNote comes from American Bird Conservancy and Bringing Back the Birds, a photo book by Owen Deutsch on the importance of protecting birdscapes. Available at Amazon.com.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

How Long Does a Robin Live?

Adapted from a script written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote.

[American Robin singing and spring ambient]

That pair of robins that keeps coming back to your yard to nest every year? They might not be the same two birds.

Mortality rates are high in robins and other songbirds. American Robins have about a 50-50 chance of living through the year.

If a young robin makes it through its first winter, its chances of survival go up. But robins still don’t live very long. Thanks to banding, we know of a robin that lived to be 14 years old. But the robins in your yard are probably no more than about three years old.

[American Robin song]

Robins and most other migratory birds find new mates each spring. After the last fledglings leave in the fall, adult robins go off on their own. However, if the same male and female make it back to your yard the following spring, there’s a high likelihood they’ll get back together.

[American Robin song]

If a robin outlives its mate, it may find another partner to mate with -- but keep coming back to that same shrub outside your window.  So over the years, you’ve probably had many different sets of robins in your yard — even if it looks as if the same pair of robins has returned.

[More robin song]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
 
###
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Narrator: Mary McCann
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. ML# 94260 recorded by W.L. Hershberger and R.S. Little. Ambient recording by Kessler Productions.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2019 BirdNote   November 2012 / 2019

ID# AMRO-10-2010-03-23-MM   AMRO-10b

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin/lifehistory

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