Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The American Robin

The American Robin, Turdus migratorius

I've always wondered how the American Robin was given such a lowly sounding scientific name.  The migratorius part isn't hard to figure out, but where exactly Turdus comes from remains a mystery to me.  The word probably didn't have the same connotation in the 1766 when Linnaeus named this species.

For some reason, I don't see many photographs of Robins on nature blogs, and I'm not sure why.  They're easy to photograph and they're quite common, but they're not attracted to typical bird seed stations.  Do people not want lay out on their front lawns making their neighbors wonder what the heck they're doing?  Apparently I don't have that issue, although I was actually sprawled out on our asphalt driveway, pointing the camera at this robin and picking up the wheel of my neighbor's Toyata Prius in the background. Is anyone familiar with the plant Dalibarda repens?  

Now that is an "inside" botanical/car joke for you.  Have a great day.


Apparently Turdus means "thrush" in Latin.  Robins are thrushes after all, so I can't complain with that scientific name, even if it isn't one that I would choose for myself. 


  1. Beautiful.I love the sight of Robins on our yard.Jake and I put out raisins for them and they thank us with their presence.Actually I did a post on Robins not too long ago.

  2. Thanks Ruth...Do you have a link to that post? I haven't tried to feed them raisins, but maybe I'll try mealworms this summer.

  3. Okay. I give. I'm familiar with Dalibarda repens (also known as Dewdrop), but I don't get the botany/car connection. Explain, please.

    Nice robin!

  4. Pretty ~ I actually post quite a few Robins on my blog ~ I think they are lovely birds :) I've added the links below.

    Thank you for the kind comment on you left on my dragonfly post!