Wisconsin: State Bird

The American robin earned the stately title, the Wisconsin State Bird, following a two-decade-long campaign by the Wisconsin Federated Women’s Clubs. Wisconsin school kids had selected the bird during the 1926-1927 school year, but the state’s lawmakers only made it official in 1949. The bird was also chosen as the state bird of Connecticut in 1943 and Michigan in 1931.

American Robin Origin

European settlers named it so because it reminded them of the robins in their native land. American robins have reddish-orange breasts similar to those in Europe but they are not related.

Both birds are only members of the thrush family (the bluebirds, pale thrush, redwings, and more). However, the American Robin dominates the thrush family with its posture and body shape making it the most notable among its relatives.

Physical Traits

Robins are grayish-brown in color with a dark head, orange breast, and white belly. Both male and female robins look alike, except the female’s colors are more subdued.

The American robin species have additional features that distinguish it from other types. It has a black bill with a yellow and brown base and brown legs and feet.

Behavior

The American robin is a migratory bird frequenting North and Central America. It migrates in winter and flies back before breeding. The Wisconsin robin species mainly flies to Florida during the winter season, but other species travel to the Pacific Coast, Gulf Coast, and Central Mexico.

During the warmer summer and spring months (April to July) they fly to Canada or Alaska, hence the belief that robins symbolize the beginning of spring in the northern latitudes.

Robins form communities when migrating to reduce predator attacks. Upon arrival, they develop smaller groups with couples building nests to breed during summer. However, each bird builds its nest in winter which means each bird has two homes.

Feeding Habits

American robins have an omnivore diet. They feed on worms, grubs, grasshoppers, and other small invertebrates in the morning and fruits in the afternoon. They hunt by sight and rely on vibrations under their feet to find worms. Their diets are slightly different during the breeding season because they need more energy. Therefore, they eat more snails, beetles, ants, spiders, and worms.

Nesting and Breeding

Female robins are tasked with the responsibility of making nests. They use one wing to press sprouts of dead grass and twigs into cup-shaped nests. They then add soft mud to fortify the nests and line them with soft grass for laying eggs.

The female robin prioritizes delicate items because she’ll need to sit on the nest continuously for 14 days to incubate the eggs. This happens during the winter and summer seasons after migration. The nests are erected enough above the ground (4.9-14.8 feet) to avoid getting wet during the winter season.

Male American robins remain with the female robin during the breeding season, with the female robin hatching 2-3 broods of three to five eggs. They then incubate the eggs and take care of the hatchlings until they leave the nest.

Wisconsin state bird

Wisconsin: State Bird