How Long Do Robins Live? Do Robins Mate For Life?

how long do robins live

Almost everyone has seen a robin in their yard, no matter which part of America they live in. Robins are undoubtedly incredible birds and excellent lovers. The robin is among the recognizable birds in the US. They are also found in Europe and are known as European robins. Robins are beautiful birds who have also endorsed the coming of spring. 

It is auspicious that seeing a robin is a good sign and a fresh start in life. Due to this, Robin has become a favorite bird. With the love and happiness we feel watching robins. Still, many are unsure of the lifespan of Robins. Let’s uncover the question; how long do robins live? Do they mate for life? Are robins lifelong love, or just soulmates for a season?  

How Long Do Robins Live?

Most American robins are recorded to live for 5 or 6 years in the wild, and everybody wants to see robins forever. However, if the robins live in captivity, their life span has been recorded as long as 14-17 years. 

The life expectancy of a robin increases if it survives till its first birthday. The chances of living life with good years ahead increase. The reason is that robin offspring are often susceptible to environmental stressors. If the offsprings survive during the first year, they will develop the potential and skills to live ahead. American robins are little songbirds.

After a survey, it was found that the highest life expectancy generally attained in the wild is around 4.5 years, with various individuals living until they were about 6 or 7. The biggest killers for robins are hypothermia and predators. The reason or a threat to these little robins are their small-sized body, and they are the target of mostly every bird bigger than them.

Robins reproduce, die, and this cycle continues to work forever! Robins are adaptable birds found in cities, parks, farms, and forests across Canada, Alaska, and the Lower 48 states.

A most common myth regarding robins is that they fly to the south and return during the spring season. Generally, it might be the case. The migrating nature of robins can be due to environmental changes. For robins, certain conditions are favorable, and once they discover the difference, they move.

The Average Robin Life Cycle

Robin’s life cycle is similar to many other birds, and they also do everything like any other bird on this planet. Let’s see the common life cycle stages of these robins.

Mating is the First Step

Like any other organism living on this earth, robins reproduce. They mate. By the age of one year, robins are adults, and they start mating and bringing out their offspring. Mating usually occurs from late March to June. Male robins will sing the message that they are looking for a mate. After finding the mate, they will sing to assert their territory and save their partner from any rival.

Laying Egg

Usually, every bird produces an egg. Similarly, robins also produce an egg. The female begins to construct her nest so that she may lay her eggs. 

During the initial season, the robins lay around 3-4 eggs; sometimes, it gets reduced to 2-3 eggs only during the season. The blue color of the egg makes it distinct from others and signifies that it’s a robin egg. After the last egg is laid, the incubation lasts around 12-14 days.

Hatching—The Baby Robin Comes

After twelve to fourteen days after egg laying, a baby is developed. Eggs usually hatch one day apart after they are laid. The sequence of egg hatching is the same as with egg laying. These new babies are known as hatchlings. For 13 days, the parents nourish their babies. Both parents feed their babies a hearty diet. They grow very well during these 13 days. Every going day, the hatchlings eat more and more.

Adult—First Birthday

A robin must have passed her first birthday to be known as an adult. The robin will fly until they find new ways to get their food, and Robins learn to migrate whenever the environmental conditions are not in their favor. 

What Factors Impact the Robin Lifespan?

Robin’s life is full of ups and downs due to their small-size body. Also, many external environmental factors impact the lifespan of robins. However, even if they survive, robins do not wind up living for a long duration. Many other factors influence the lifespan of robins, and some of those are:

Predators Hunt

Robins are very insecure during their initial days. Robins fail even to see the world. Predators kill them even when they are in the eggs. Predators like bushy birds, snakes, cats, and many other animals hunt robins. To secure themselves, they migrate to other countries; the risk is still there with them. These little birds can not escape and fight back against predators.

Food Scarcity

Food availability can become a severe issue, especially during winter. They never die because of the cold weather, and their feathers keep them warm during the whole winter season. The thing that kills them is the food availability. Their diet of earthworms dwindles because of the cold weather. The search for eating earthworms brings them to the ground. Due to this, they sometimes eat pesticides which eventually kill them.

Do American Robins Survive Winter?

Robins have altered their body to survive winters and any season. They migrate to their favorable environment to survive winters. In the winter, they usually migrate from the USA to Mexico. It is tempting to know that robins migrate to warmer areas and return once they feel unfavorable environmental conditions. It happens with different species of robins.

The primary need for the robins is food. They can survive the winters because of their wings, which provide warmth. However, robins love to eat earthworms. However, during winters, earthworms hide under the thick layer of soil making it difficult for the robins to eat. 

Do Robins Mate For Life?

It is interesting to know about robins; they stay together till death parts them; however, robins do not mate for life. Pairs remain together during the breeding that involves two or three nestings. It happens most frequently when they get successful in raising babies the previous year. 

How Do Robins Choose Mates?

Robins are not very picky when selecting a partner for breeding. Usually, the male robin sings loudly in the early spring, hoping to attract a mate to his territory. When a partner has been found, the male robin brings tasty food to this partner that she begs with her wings. It makes a strong bond for the pair.

This way, they select their partners for mating and raising their offspring for the entire breeding season.


Now after knowing about the life of robins and how long do robins live, We can conclude robins are very happy little red-colored body bird that migrates when they get insufficient food and environmental conditions.

If somehow a robin partner dies during the breeding season, the remaining bird tries to replace them quickly. The female robin has a hungry mouth to fill as she can’t grieve for her loss.


How old are robins when they mate?

Robins can start mating when they are one year old, and they start mating after reaching puberty which usually starts after one year. They are capable of reproducing on their own.

How long do American robins live in the wild?

Only lucky robins can live up to 14 years. Usually, the maximum life span that has ever been recorded for these birds is four years old.

How long do American robins live in captivity?

The average lifespan of a robin is 5-6 years if they survive adulthood. In captivity, these birds have lived up to 15-17 years.

How do most American robins die?

Primarily the cause of robin’s death is the predators. The predators like cats, snakes, and many bushy birds hunt these small birds for food. Otherwise, they die because of old age.

How old is the oldest recorded American robin?

The oldest age recorded for these American robins is 15 years, and it is the highest age for a robin to have. Mostly robins can survive for 15-16 years in captivity.

How long can American robins live without food?

Robins need to eat a good amount of food every day and take a certain amount of food to fulfill their daily nutrition count. If robins don’t eat for 24 hours, their chances of becoming lethargic are high.

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About Author

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Dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of the natural world, Andrew Daniel brings content for birds that are authentic and researched through reputable sources. Andrew Daniel combines all his experience, knowledge, and passion for updating the audience regarding the different habits of birds.