Differences Between Male and Female American Robins

Written by pam pleasant
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Differences Between Male and Female American Robins
Robin (robin image by david purday from Fotolia.com)

The differences between the male and female American robin are easy to spot if you know what to look for. These birds spend the spring and summer months as far north as southern Canada, and when the weather becomes warmer, they will make their appearance in these areas. Observing these robins and their behaviour becomes easier when you know what sets them apart.

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Both male and female robins look similar. They both have a white circular patch that surrounds the eyes and brown, orange or bright red colour that covers the stomach area. But the male's colours will be much brighter. They both also have a bright yellow bill and lighter cream-coloured feathers that are seen near the tail and on the neck. But you may not notice the female having a duller colour unless you witness both birds together.

The Female Role

Another way to tell the difference between male and female America robins is by knowing what roles they play when it comes to performing duties. The female seems to work much harder, because she is solely responsible for preparing the nest. She will be seen gathering grass, twigs and other materials to make a nest. She will then mix the materials with mud to build the nest. She is also the one that incubates the eggs for a full two weeks before they are hatched.

The Male Role

The male American robin protects the female and the nest. Even though the female can also be a protector, the male will become aggressive with any other animal that comes close to the nest. If the female has been incubating the nest for a long period of time, the male may choose to take over for a few hours. The parents will tend to the nestlings for 15 days until they are ready to leave the nest.


If you hear a robin early in the morning and it is singing, it is a male American robin. The female does make certain chirping sounds, but they are used for communication. She uses them to locate the male and to warn him of approaching predators. But the male is the song bird, and while the young robins are still in the nest, they will make loud chirping sounds along with the father.

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