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The Red Robin - Michigan State Bird

How the Robin Got His Red Breast (based on an Irish folk tale)

Many years ago, late in the year, a cruel wind brought biting cold weather; making the night more bitter for a father and son who had traveled far, and still had farther to go. They had sought a cottage, a barn, or even a tree - anyplace they could seek shelter. But there was nothing to be seen or found, except for a bush, and at last the father built a fire and told his son to try and sleep a little.

Michigan Birding Information and Audubon Societies

And when the father's eyes began to droop he woke his son ,and bid him watch the fire.

Oh how the boy tried to stay awake! But he hadn't really slept while lying on the frozen ground and he was still exhausted from the walk. His eyes got lower. His head got lower.Michigan State Bird - Robin

The fire got lower.

So low in fact that a starving wolf began to inch nearer the sleeping pair.

But there was one who was awake. There was one who saw everything from amidst the barren bush; a little bird who was as gray as the brambly wood.

The bird hopped down and began fanning the flickering embers until the flames began to lick out hungrily; nor did the little bird stop, despite the pain on his breast, until the flames were dancing with strength.

And from that day on the Robin has proudly worn a red breast.  Visit Rachel's Robin - Discount Wild Bird Supplies


  • As with many migratory birds, the male Robins return to the summer breeding grounds before the females, and compete with each other for nesting sites. The female robins then select mates based on the males' songs and the desirability of the nests they have built. Three or four blue eggs are laid in a lined cup robin nest.
  • The song of the Robin can only be described as a liquid warble which has often been mistaken for that of a nightingale, particularly after dusk. Another sound they make is a "tic tic tic" which seems to act as a kind of warning call to other birds when there is imminent danger.

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