Differences Between Male & Female American Robins

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With a widespread habitat range and a preference for suburban living, American robins are members of the thrush family and are commonly found in most areas of the United States throughout the year. Males and females bear a strong resemblance to one another, unlike many other avian species. When in doubt, observing robin behavior can help identify their gender.

Particular Plumage

Although male and female American robins are nearly identical in appearance, the subtle differences in their coloring can be instrumental in identifying gender. While all American robins sport pale-orange to brick-red bellies and gray heads with white arcs over the eyes and lateral stripes on the throats, females will tend toward paler hues than males. The head of the adult male may appear nearly black, while the female's is predominantly grey, according to "National Geographic" magazine.

Sizable Differences

Robins are members of the thrush family, and in the same size class as blue jays and northern cardinals. Average body size for the birds is 25 centimeters in length and average weight is 77 grams. Weight and size may vary seasonally and from region to region. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, male robins are usually slightly larger than females, who tend to weigh about 2.6 grams less.

Breeding Behavior

Breeding pairs of robins divide the labor when it comes to rearing their young. The female robin is responsible for choosing a safe nest site and for nest construction, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website. She builds with a collection of twigs and mud but may use string, cloth or paper if she can find them. The female incubates her eggs once they arrive in the spring, and the male will occasionally be observed bringing food to her. The male is responsible for helping to feed the nestlings when hatched.

Helping Hatchlings

Young robins rely on both parents to rear them to adulthood, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Female robins brood their young until the nestlings are able to warm themselves. The mothers then leave their nests at night. Chicks practice flight 13 days after hatching, remaining close to the nest. Though both parents will still feed their newly mobile young, the female will follow them as they fly first. Later, as the female begins another nest in preparation for a new brood, the male follows the young birds and may lead them to a communal roost site.

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