Observing and understanding the behavior of wild animals is an integral part of enjoying the outdoors. Hence the following question about the behavior of robins.

Even when it is not breeding season for robins I still often see male robins with female robins. But why?

I know that the male robin often chirps to find female robins within his territory. I also know that the male robin puffs his chest to try to impress a female robin.

But I have seen out in the country that even during the fall and late summer the male robins are still with female robins. I don't know whether it is to raise their fledgling chicks or what because only in videos and pictures have I seen robin chicks and robin eggs.

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    @Caters I googled "do robins mate for life". The answer is no. But they stay together for a mating/rearing season in a territory that the male has claimed. The male defends his territory against other males. The female defends the territory against other females.They raise two or three broods a season. So you may have seen them late in their third brood, or they may simply both be hanging around their seasonal territory until it is time to migrate again.
    – ab2
    Sep 19, 2015 at 14:09
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    Just to clarify — do you live in North America, or in Europe/Asia? The American Robin and European Robin are quite different species. (And there are many other species worldwide with “robin” in their names, but as far as I know these two are the only ones locally known just as “robin” without any qualifier.) Dec 1, 2015 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


I am not a robin or even a bird expert; this answer is solely from googling "Do robins mate for life?"

From Journey North American Robin -- Annenberg Media http://www.learner.org/jnorth/search/RobinNotes2.html

"No, robins do not mate for life. Pairs usually remain together during an entire breeding season, which can involve two or three nestings. However, in spring, sometimes a male and female who mated the previous year will both return to the same territory and end up together for another year. This happens most frequently when they were successful raising babies the previous year."

From the same source: "....as the last brood fledges and becomes independent, the male and female feel less attached to the territory. They grow restless to travel and associate with other robins."

From this and another source which I can now not bring up, I infer that you may have seen them late in their third brood, or they may both be briefly hanging around their seasonal territory until it is time to migrate again. (If you had just raised three broods, you too would need a short rest before flying several thousand miles.)

See also The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds, The American Robin http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin/lifehistory This source says that many American Robins "spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you're much less likely to see them." It does not say whether the male and female stay together.

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