What Do Robins Eat? 11 Top Foods For Robins

Bird feeders always want to know what do robins eat! Generally, robins can be found in a wide range of habitats. The American robin is a songbird who does not shy away from humans. You can feed them a variety of foods. They are most commonly found during the winters. You will often see these birds hopping in your backyards or lawns. In my article, I will tell you a list of food items for feeding robins. I have also mentioned some food items that you need to avoid while feeding them. Continue reading, if you are interested in knowing what do robins eat.

What Do Robins Eat?

Let us now see, what do robins eat. I have listed down the top 11 foods that robins love to eat.

  1. Mealworms
  2. Sunflower Hearts
  3. Nyjer Seeds
  4. Raisins
  5. Apples
  6. Peanuts
  7. Suet
  8. Maize
  9. Oatmeal
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cheese

Robins are most commonly seen in wintertime when their food sources become scarce! You may often see a robin in your garden hunting for food. Below I have mentioned the list of best foods to feed robins in detail.

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Top 11 Foods For Robins

So ideally, you need to know what do robins eat before you feed them. Continue reading if you are interested to know more about it.

  1. Mealworms


The best food you can buy to attract robins to your gardens is mealworms. Usually, mealworms come in dried form packed with nutrients, fats, protein, and fibers. Make sure you sprinkle a little water on mealworms when you place it out for robins. This will prevent them from turning to dust. Mealworms can be purchased online as well as offline. They arrived dried, well packaged that can be easily stored in your cupboard.

  1. Sunflower Hearts

Sunflower Hearts

You must be surprised to know that robins love sunflower hearts! These kernels are very rich in the healthy fats and proteins robins crave for. You can load sunflower seeds into a mesh feeder or scatter them on the ground. Crushing them into small pieces yourself makes it easy for the robins to enjoy them. You can also serve them mixed with other seeds, fruits, fats, and mealworms.

  1. Nyjer Seeds

Nyjer Seeds

While sunflower is not the only yellow-petaled plant that produces seeds that make robins sing with joy! The African yellow daisy produces seeds called Nyjer seeds. The Nyjer seeds are high in fat, protein, and fiber. They also contain little sugar along with niacin, oleic acid, and antioxidants. These seeds are so small and light that the birds will scatter the majority of them. You may have also heard them calling in another name like thistle seeds. But this is misleading. They have nothing to do with thistle plants.

  1. Raisins


Birds are crazy about sticky-sweet foods like raisins and so do robins too! The natural sugar present in raisins provides robins a great source of energy for their high metabolism. Raisins are also a very great source of potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamins. While the fresh raisins are soft enough for robins to pick. You can serve them up on a flat feeder like try or table. Ensure that the location is out of reach of dogs and cats as raisins are toxic to them.

  1. Apples


An apple a day keeps a doctor away, but in the case of robins, it is fascinating! No matter which type of apple you choose as long as they are served rightly, birds will chew them down. Like most fruits, apples are also a great source of natural sugar, vitamin C, and fibers. They are full of moisture when served fresh. Keep in mind that overripe apples are mostly preferred. The softer they are, the simpler it is for little robins to eat them. If you are using an apple feeder, make sure you peel the apple before you feed them.

  1. Peanuts


These fat-rich nuts are beloved by a wide variety of birds that can be fed in different ways. But when it comes to robins, you should remove its shell. Peanuts are rich in fat, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, protein, and magnesium. You can simply crush peanuts into small pieces. Ensure that you have chosen an unsalted version of peanut. You can also mix them with sunflower seeds and crushed dried peas too. Also, make sure you use a squirrel-proof feeder as squirrels are also crazy about peanuts.

  1. Suet


Suet is one of the best foods to feed robins. Suet is beef or mutton fat that is high in fats, iron, and protein content. You simply need to heat it until it melts into a liquid state. You can also add seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and even insects if you like. There are a variety of suet feeders available, make sure you choose a squirrel-proof model. Endure that you don’t put suet out on hot days because it can melt into a mess that simply attracts pests. Sometimes, it can also go sour if kept in high heat conditions for too long.

  1. Maize


Robins have an advantage over humans when it comes to the sweet treat of golden maize. This is because robins can enjoy kernels whether cooked or raw! Maize is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, potassium, and iron. Also special thanks to its high starch content. While cooked maize plumps with water making it a source of fluids for a thirsty robin. Ensure that the kernels are cooked with no added spices or salt. Even raw crushed maize has its advantages for robins. Maize can be offered on trays, in feeders, or as part of a suet mix.

  1. Oatmeal


Robins will happily bite away raw oatmeal. Oatmeal is as healthy for birds as it is for human beings. It has very high iron, fiber, vitamins A and B6, magnesium, and calcium. Cooked or moist oatmeal hardens into a rock-like consistency. If it gets hardened on a bird’s beak it could cause them to starve. You can add them to a suet mix to add fat and other missing nutrients to the meal. Between the three types of oats, you should prioritize instant and rolled oats.  Even pinhead oats can be used, but they are less flexible and take longer to digest.

  1. Potatoes


Boiled, roasted, or mashed potatoes will surely attract robins in your garden. Their high water content provides protein, fiber, and enough hydration for robins. You can directly serve whole baked potatoes or cut them well open so that robins can easily reach the soft interior. Potato interiors can sometimes injure an unaware robin. Make sure you cool them completely before offering them up. You can sprinkle some seeds over them.

  1. Cheese


By seeing cheese, you must be thinking, do robins eat cheese? Yes, they love to eat cheese! Cheese is one of the fat-rich food that keeps robin’s energy all day up. It is high in potassium, protein, sodium, and cobalamin. To serve cheese, you have to grate it down into small pieces. Just place it on a bird table or tray in less quantity. Remember that cheese should be offered as an occasional treat for robins.

You have now understood that robins love eating the above-mentioned foods. But they prefer different foods for different seasons. If you are interested in knowing what do robins eat in different seasons, please continue to read.

Foods For Robins In Different Seasons

Many bird feeders do not know robins prefer different foods according to seasons. Let us see what do robins eat as per their choices of food they prefer.

Foods For Robins In Winter

Do you know what do robins eat in winter? I assume that you may not have an answer. Below I have listed down a list of foods robins love to eat during winters.

  • Dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, and currants.
  • Small pieces of raw or cooked suet.
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nyjer seeds
  • Peanuts

Foods For Robins In Summer

Individuals often don’t know what do robins eat in the summer season. Do not worry, I have mentioned down some food items you can feed robins in the summers.

  • Insects
  • Mealworms
  • Apples
  • Raisins
  • Oats
  • Potatoes

Foods For Robins In Spring

In spring robins need more protein-rich food for themselves. Continue reading to know what do robins eat in spring.

  • Mollusks
  • Berries like blueberries, mulberries, winterberries, juniper, honeysuckle, and holly.
  • Fruits including cherries, crabapples, chokecherries, dogwood, and hawthorn
  • Insects like spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, termites, crickets

Natural Foods For American Robins

American robins are very closely related to bluebirds, hermit thrushes, wood thrushes, and Townsend’s solitaires. Robins are omnivorous and are found in a wide range. Their diet usually changes with the seasons, habitat, and availability of food sources. Below I have presented you with a list of popular foods for American robins.

  • Robin’s diet consists of 40% insects and 60% fruits.
  • Robins like to eat earthworms, insect larvae, grubs, caterpillars, and snails.
  • Insects like spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, termites, crickets are also robin’s favorites.
  • While berries such as blueberries, mulberries, winterberries, juniper, honeysuckle, and holly can also be fed.
  • You can also feed them small tree fruits including cherries, crabapples, chokecherries, dogwood, and hawthorn.
  • You may also include vine fruits such as wild and domesticated grapes too.
  • Robins also love eating eggs, small snakes, frogs, shrinks, and small fish.

Foods For Baby Robins

Baby robins eat constantly just like any other baby bird. Mama robin constantly fills the begging baby’s beak every 30 minutes to keep them sated and healthy. But what do baby robins eat? They will eat anything that their parents feed them. If you closely watch them being fed in the wild you will notice their diet mostly consists of mealworms, earthworms, insects, and grubs. Newborn robins generally require protein-rich foods of high nutrient density. Even you can also try to feed baby robins. Set your bird table or fill your bird feeder with mealworms or earthworms during their breeding season.

Foods That Robins Won’t Eat

It is equally important to note that what foods do robins don’t eat. Below, I have mentioned some foods you should avoid feeding to robins. These foods are inappropriate for robins and can be eaten only by larger birds. Continue reading to know more about it.

  • American robins do not like eating some foods such as Nyjer seeds, cracked corn, safflower seed, or whole peanuts.
  • Also avoid putting out mixed seeds that contain dried beans, rice, lentils, wheat, or barley. 
  • Do not feed bread to robins as it does not contain the right nutrients that they require during the cold and winter seasons.
  • Lastly, do not feed robins milk as they are unable to digest them properly.

Where Do Robins Live?

You may find American robins living in woodlands, suburban backyards, parks, and grasslands with shrubs. Sometimes, they migrate north to spend summers in Alaska.


Will Robins Eat From Feeders?

Yes, robins will eat from feeders. They hunt for food when it is not easily available around them. Make sure you feed them away from cats and dogs.

Why Do Robins Not Eat From Bird Feeders?

Robins do not like eating from bird feeders because they prefer eating in open areas.

What Fruit Does Robins Eat?

Robins like to eat fruits that produce berries such as juniper berries, blackberries, gooseberries, strawberries, mistletoe, ivy berries, etc.

How Do You Get A Robin To Trust You?

To get a robin trust on you need to set aside an area in your yard where these tiny creatures can get attracted, such as a pile of leaves or damp corners.

Do Robins Eat Grapes?

Yes, robins like to eat grapes. As grapes are soft they can be easily digested by them. Dried grapes commonly known as raisins can also be fed to robins.

Are Robins Friendly To Humans?

Birds such as magpies, crows and mockingbirds can also identify people. However, robins being friendly and a little curious means they pay very close attention to the humans in their neighbourhood.

What Are Robins Favorite Fruit?

A Robin’s Favorite Winter Foods

Winter robins eat berries, other fruits, and seeds they find on shrubs, trees, and vines. If robins happen to overwinter near you, you can offer them frozen or fresh fruit. They’ll go for apple slices, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.

Why Do Robins Not Eat Bird Seed?

Even the hungriest robin doesn’t normally eat birdseed. Robins can’t digest seeds, and their beaks are not built for cracking. However, a very smart, very hungry robin that has observed other birds at feeders can learn to try birdseed! Instead, you could buy mealworms at a pet store for your hungry winter robins.


From my above article, you got to know what do robins eat. Robins or you can say the American robins like to eat earthworms, caterpillars, snails, spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, termites, crickets. While robin chicks love eating mealworms, earthworms, insects, and grubs. You just need to put any one of the above food items in a tray in an open area. Make sure you also place a bowl filled with some water as they may feel thirsty after eating food. As you have learned what do robins eat, you can easily feed them if you see them on your lawns!

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What do you give Robins to eat

What do Robins eat?