How Long Do Robins Live

Everyone is familiar with robins since they are quite common birds. They can occasionally be seen in your home or in a local park, although they are typically found in woody regions close to woods and streams. How long do these animals live, though?

Although robins have a two-year lifetime on average, some of them have been known to live in captivity for up to 15 years! Some reliable sources claim that a robin’s lifespan in the wild has a maximum age of 14 years. Therefore, even though robins don’t live very long, they may still have a pleasant existence if they are given proper care.

Since they are among the first birds to arrive back after their winter migration, these feathery companions are revered as the harbingers of spring. But today, we’re going to pay particular attention to how long robins live and what factors may affect it.

Want to learn more? Let’s start!

What is the Average Robin Lifespan?

A robin may live up to 5 or 6 years in the wild if it survives through its first year. They have been known to live in captivity for up to 14–17 years, though.

A robin’s chance of living significantly longer if it makes it to at least one year old. This is due to the fact that young robins are frequently highly vulnerable to environmental disturbances.

In actuality, only around 25% of newborn robins live through their first year. However, after they had survived their first year, robins would have learned several crucial survival strategies.

The oldest robins known to have existed were both 17 years old, according to “Life History,” The American Robin. A robin kept in captivity in Tarrytown, New York, lived for 17 years, while a robin in Richmond, Oregon, was said to still be alive and well at the age of 17.

The first year of a robin’s existence is one of the most vulnerable, and it is at this period that we can predict how long they will live. Are you interested in learning how robins develop from eggs to adult songbirds? Let’s investigate!

Why do robins live for only a year?

Due to their tiny size, robins don’t have enough fat stores to endure prolonged cold weather. Similar to other little birds, robins must consume enough food during the day to stay warm during the night. They need to consume around one-third of their body weight during the day to stay alive at night.

Since robins are predominantly ground feeders, cold weather may make it very difficult for them to survive, forcing them to spend the majority of their time looking for food.

Although robins are frequently seen at bird feeders, they are primarily ground feeders, and extended spells of cold weather or snow make it difficult for robins to get to their natural food sources.

Sadly, robins seldom live more than 1-2 years since they are unlikely to survive the night unless they are successful in finding enough food during the day.

Because it may be the difference between life and death for them throughout the winter, robins and many other wild birds will take full advantage of any food placed on a feeder. Although robins are territorial, they become more accepting of other robins that may share the same food and water sources during periods of frigid weather.

Survival is believed to be more vital than using energy in territorial conflicts. Due to the sudden freezing of natural water sources, cold weather can also result in a lack of drinking water in addition to hurting food supplies.

Wild birds can benefit immensely from having a water supply beside your feeder, but keep in mind that water left outside in freezing weather may also freeze in a short while, so it should be checked frequently.

How long do American robins live in the wild?

An American robin has a life expectancy of around 1.7 years if it makes it through its first midwinter. Since the annual survival rate is just about 50%, it is essentially a coin toss whether an American robin will live or die each year.

Although it’s uncommon to see American robins older than 6 in the wild, Audubon and other reliable sources point out one instance of a wild American robin who lived for 13 years and 11 months. The avian longevity database of the United States Geological Survey has proof of the oldest American robin.

The robin in question was banded in California on January 11, 1962, and was discovered dead on May 26, 1975, giving it a lifespan of around 14 years when taking into consideration how old it was at the time of banding.

The longest life expectancy commonly obtained in the wild is roughly 4.5 years, with some individuals lasting until they were about 6 or 7, according to a 1945 research.

The two main causes of robin death are predation and hypothermia. Due of their tiny size, they are vulnerable to predation from almost all predatory birds, mammals, and reptiles.

How long do robins live in captivity?

Theoretically, when a robin is kept in captivity, dangers and predators that may otherwise significantly affect its life expectancy in the wild are removed.

It seems sense to believe that caged robins have a far better chance of surviving if such threats are reduced, temperatures are carefully controlled, and food is regularly provided. However, this isn’t always the case.

Despite their outward appearance of friendliness and comfort in human company, European robins are highly frightened and quickly startle. They have trouble adjusting to new situations and distractions, and having possible predators (people) around all the time would be quite stressful.

The majority of attempts to produce robins in captivity have been unsuccessful, and wild birds that have been captured have had a difficult time adapting to life away from their natural habitats, dying young and having shorter life spans.

How long can robins live without food?

In order to get the energy they need to survive, European robins typically feed three times a day: in the morning, midday, and early evening.

European robins, like other little birds, have relatively low fat reserves, and in exceptionally cold temperatures, they can lose around 10% of their total weight in a single night. A robin’s health can rapidly deteriorate when the ground is frozen, making foraging for food more challenging than it is in the summer.

How can you help a robin live a longer life?

Giving your robin a clean, secure habitat, giving a diverse diet, and making sure the bird has enough of space to exercise are some ways you may promote the bird’s long life and good health. But let’s go more explicit about these elements.

a tidy and secure atmosphere Any bird, even robins, needs a clean habitat. By maintaining your yard free of pesticides and herbicides, you may aid these wild birds.

Robins are particularly vulnerable to these dangerous chemicals since they spend the majority of their time on the ground, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

providing a diverse diet. Maintaining your robin’s health and singing ability also requires a balanced diet. Robins consume a variety of insects, earthworms, and berries in the wild. By giving the bird mealworms, crickets, and other live prey, you may duplicate this diet. Additionally, you ought to add fresh fruits and vegetables to its diet.

provide lots of area for the bird to exercise Not to mention, robins require a lot of area to exercise. Setting up a birdhouse or nesting box in your yard is a fantastic method to do this. The robins will have a location to nest and nurture their young as a result of this. They will have a secure location to exercise and explore.

These easy recommendations can help robins have long and healthy lives.

What is the life cycle of an robin?

Due of their poor average survival rate, American robin couples can produce up to three broods year.

American robins seldom live past their second year, but by rearing three broods, the species as a whole is kept healthy.

According to some estimates, there may be 500 million American robins in the country, and their numbers are rising over much of the country. The ability of robins to survive as a species is exceptional despite their high mortality rates.

How do most robins die?

Pet cat assaults are the main factor, accounting for up to 50% of all robin deaths. According to estimates, up to 1.5 million innocent robins in the UK are murdered in this way each year.

Both directly and indirectly, humans and the built environment both have a significant role in the death rates of robins. Numerous robins perish each year as a result of accidently flying into windows or getting hit by cars. Other fatalities could be more purposeful, brought on by landowners poisoning, killing, and destroying nests.

A fraction of European robin fatalities each year are also due to natural reasons, notably in juvenile birds who lack the expertise to effectively negotiate survival.

How old is the oldest recorded American robin?

The oldest wild robin recorded was 13 years and 11 months old, according to sources.

It takes some searching to find the source of this data, but it may be located in the database on avian lifespan maintained by the United States Geological Survey. The robin was banded on January 11, 1962, in California, and was discovered dead on May 26, 1975. It was around 14 years old because it was banded as a juvenile.

There are several accounts of robins kept in captivity lasting longer, sometimes up to 17 years, but there isn’t any true hard proof of this.

What Factors Impact the Robin Lifespan

A robin’s lifetime will be impacted by a variety of external and environmental variables. If a juvenile American Robin makes it through its first winter, its chances of survival increase. Robins often do not live particularly long lives, even if they do manage to survive. Continue reading to find out more about the factors that affect a robin’s lifespan.

Numerous predators hunt on robins, even when they are still in their eggs. Predators will make many attempts to take robin eggs from their mother’s nest. These include raccoons, ravens, blue jays, snakes, and even squirrels.

Robins are once again prone to becoming prey. Robins are pursued by owls, hawks, and shrikes. Another predator that robins must be on the lookout for is cats.

Food Supply: Robins may experience major problems with food availability. Robins don’t often migrate during the winter since they can’t stand the cold. In fact, during the chilly, hard weather, their feathers may keep them extremely warm.

The real motivator is food—or rather, the lack of it. Because of the weather, robins’ usual diet of earthworms and insects is becoming less abundant. Due to the fact that they graze on lawns and other open spaces that are routinely sprayed with pesticides, American robins continue to be poisoned by these substances.

Collisions: Every year, communication towers claim the lives of a few migratory robins. Other common dangers for robins include running into glass, electrocution, and car strikes.

Do American robins survive winter?

American robins may be found breeding in the northernmost parts of Alaska, the United States, and Canada. While certain groups in the USA and Mexico are stationary and permanent, those who breed further north will always move.

They go through a large portion of the USA during their winter migration to Mexico. Although it may be tempting to believe that robins move to warmer climates, they often stop when they can no longer find adequate food.

There are seven subspecies in all, some of which are more tolerant to cold temperatures than others, such as the Northwestern and Newfoundland robins that breed in Canada.

All things considered, American robins can undoubtedly tolerate subfreezing conditions by fluffing up their feathers. A healthy robin’s internal body temperature is about 104F even in subfreezing conditions (40C). Their feathers are incredibly effective insulators.

In the winter, certain American robin populations become more sociable and frequently roost in groups in the trees. A few dozen or even hundreds of birds may be seen in roosts. The robins maintain body heat by huddling together when communal roosting, which is essentially huddling.

What are the predators of European robins?

Pet cats are by far the most frequent predator of European robins, killing around half of all robins in the continent. When the chance presents itself, sparrowhawks and other predatory garden birds will also hunt on both adult robins and steal young birds from nests.


In conclusion, if given the right care and attention, robins may live a very long period. You should be sure to give robins a secure location to nest, lots of food, and water, as well as refrain from spraying pesticides in your yard, if you want to see them live a long and healthy existence.

You may spend many years with these charming birds by adhering to these easy instructions.