What Do Robins Eat?

on Jun 18, 2021
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Robins are one of the most cherished birds throughout the world. With their cheery red coloring and happy songs, these beautiful birds adorn many winter holiday cards.

It's very common to see a robin hopping across your yard seeking food, especially during the warmer months of the year.

What Do Robins Eat?

Robins mostly eat insects and earthworms. If you watch a robin in your yard, you may notice that it cocks its head back and forth while appearing to be listening intently. Then, suddenly, it will hop and peck at the soil in the hopes of grabbing an earthworm!

The bird has excellent vision and hearing, and this is how it can pinpoint worms or other insects in the ground; through movement and sound.

Robins like to eat beetles when they find them, and they love mealworms!

Robins also eat berries, seeds, suet, unsalted peanuts, sunflower hearts, and raisins.

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

One of the easiest ways to feed robins is to sprinkle dried mealworms, berries, or seeds throughout your yard, especially on the grass, where they typically like to hunt for earthworms.

Warning! Keep robins away from yard and lawn pesticides. If you use any pesticide outside, do not put food on the ground for the birds. Outdoor garden pesticides are considered one of the robin’s greatest enemies. The toxins found in pesticides endanger all bird species and especially newly-fledged babies.

  Robin with her chicks

Ground Feeding Trays

Since robins are ground feeders, these kinds of feeding trays are perfect. In addition, feeders with flat tops are ideal for attracting them to your garden.

You can make a nice mixture of mealworms, birdseed with wild berries in it, and sunflower hearts to go in your tray.

Bird Tables

Bird tables give robins an easy place to eat.  Bird tables with roofs help protect birds from predators and keeps food dry.

You can put suet, mealworms, seeds, and raisins on the table for the robins.

If it rains, make sure to remove any food. Wet food can get moldy or form bacteria, which can make birds ill.

Hanging Bird Feeders

Robins will never visit a hanging bird feeder.

Feeding Tips for Robins

1. Always provide fresh water for visiting birds to drink and take baths in.  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!

1. Never feed a robin milk (or any bird for that matter). It makes them very sick.

2. Don't feed bread to robins. Bread does not provide the right nutrients or energy source a bird needs. In the winter especially, robins need a lot of high-quality food to help keep them warm and strong.


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.


Mealworms for Robins

1 User Review
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Posted by Deirdre (Connecticut) on 08/13/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Robins love mealworms! I bought a bag at Lowe's (dried mealworms) last month to test and sprinkled a cup every day throughout a section of my back yard so they have to work a bit to find them. Turns out a lot of other birds love the mealworms too. I just finished my 2nd bag... also have a lot of mixed bird seed, but the robins ignore it.