What Eats Robins? Complete List of Robin Predators!


This small backyard bird, the robin, faces many threats from different animals, especially from their predators. While there are many reasons why this tiny bird gets predated, its predators are only one of the main threats for this poor innocent, good-natured bird.

To give you a greater understanding of what eats’ robins, as well as other threats for this bird, we’ll outline them all in detail in this article… 

But first, here’s the quick answer, then we’ll dive into more insight…

What Eats Robin’s? Blue Jay’s and crows are the two common birds that eat robins, especially during nesting season. Also, birds like Mockingbirds, Waxwings, Hawks, Shrikes, and Owls eat robins. When it comes to animals, Cats, Dogs, Foxes, Raccoons, and Snakes eat robins. These animals and birds also eat robin eggs.

Ask anyone the world over, and you won’t find many people who don’t find robins attractive, it was recently voted the UK’s national bird on TVs Naturewatch a nationwide TV program. But like most beings in nature, it has its predators, so let’s go into more detail on each of its threats…

robin
robins have many predators

Jay and crows eat robins

Jays and crows are the famous natural predators of robins. But the specialty of these two predators is that these birds eat robins often during their nesting season. The process of hunting down and eating robins usually happens by stalking the robin nests. 

The frequency of robins’ getting eaten by jays and crows occurs more in cities and other urban areas where these species are kept at artificially higher numbers.

We should also mention that both crows and jay will eat even robin eggs and its young ones remaining helpless in robin nests. The robin sadly can only watch from nearby when this happens

However, it also has to be mentioned that jays and crows interestingly help robins from other potential dangers and threats.

They do this by giving warning signs and alerting when danger approaches. This also alerts robins and other birds. These birds also chase away many predators of robins – like hawks and owls, thereby unwittingly saving these tiny birds. 

Crows tend to be more threatening to robins because in general, it’s believed that many of the other birds – including robins will suffer in numbers, or vacate and area wherever crows remain in their patch.

Mockingbirds, waxwings and other birds that eat the same fruit as robins

Mockingbirds, Waxwings and similar birds that eat the same fruit as robins are also believed to attack and prey on robins.

But such an attack is more in line with saving the available food source for themselves – rather than eating or preying upon robins. A selfish act perhaps, but on occasion, one that is necessary for survival.

Hawks, shrikes, and owls eat robins in the wild

Mostly found in the wild, birds like hawks, shrikes, and owls kill and eat robins. These birds tend to be wild in attacking and preying on robins.

But in fact, these natural predators have actually reduced in numbers, showing fewer threats to robins from such predators.

Find out Why Robin’s Hop!

Cats, dogs, raccoons, and foxes

Yes, cats, and indeed dogs, foxes, and raccoons also eat robins. Cats especially (as we all know) are one of the prolific ground hunters for robins and other birds.

Cats will eat a robin regardless of whether it’s an adult or a fledgling robin. Raccoons, on the other hand, are known more for eating bird eggs, which includes robin eggs. 

Raccoons can climb well, even to the highest point of a tree trunk and eat up robin eggs and even the young nestlings too.

Raccoons, when eating robin eggs will hold the egg with its paw, carefully crack it open with their teeth and then eat or drink them. 

In fact, a raccoon will not just stop at eating the robins and its eggs if there is a chance the raccoon will just clear up the whole nest of any robin trace. 

Foxes are am opportunist scavenger, and their diet is very varied. They will eat eggs of birds, including robins when they can. See what else a fox eats.

Snakes eat robins

Snakes are another animal that eats robins. Mostly it’s the tree-climbing snakes that locate and eat robin eggs. But when it’s a choice between robins and robin eggs, it’s the eggs the snakes choose to eat. Snakes do not bother to crack an egg, they just swallow it whole.

Rat snakes are another species that will eat robin eggs, as well as young and adult robins. These rat snakes will literally clean out a robins nest for a meal. Some snake species eat robin eggs only if they happen upon them, whereas some may seek out and feed on robins and their eggs.

black rat snake eats robins
black rat snake eats robins

Why Robins have many natural predators

As you can probably see by now, robins have quite a number of natural predators. Even robins eggs risk being predated – along with many other bird eggs it has to be said.

It’s also said that the female robin can never save these eggs from getting eaten. However, the main reason why robins are easily edible is because of their small size and where their quick speed and flight are unable to help them – as many times this is an ambush scenario. 

It may also be worth saying here, that robins being small birds – like many other small birds, are prone to unnatural factors that can kill them – apart from their natural predators we discussed above.

Some factors include communication towers, hitting into windows, car strikes and electrocution from outside equipment. Even sometimes thorns can get easily stuck into robin feathers or their throats and will kill them as a result.

Apart from these, pesticides and insecticides sprayed on lawns can also be toxic to robins and can kill easily kill them if they ingest sufficient quantities.

Learning resources

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Backyard Birds (Field Guides for Young Naturalists)

Interested in the birds around your area? Learn more about the birds in your back yard with this field guide to backyard birds, ideal for beginners!

Find out if Robin’s Make Good Pets

To finish

It’s a shame to think these cute little creatures are subjected to predation. But we have to remember that nature is neutral in this respect, and it can seem harsh. At least we know Robin’s are both surviving – and thriving!

This content has been checked and verified by a qualified veterinary practitioner. The article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Michael

A Certified Ecologist and an Entomologist, Michael has been interested in all aspects of Nature for many years. It's only now he's decided, along with his partner Fran, to begin documenting what he knows.

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