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How to Attract Robins — 5 Birdlover Tips

Robins are beautiful and intelligent birds, so it is no surprise that you would want to attract them to your property.

However, you may very well have made the common mistake of setting up a bird feeder, only to discover that the birdseed attracts almost every type of bird, except for the robin.

This has likely left you baffled, confused, and wondering what you can do to make the robins visit your garden.

While you have probably already realized that robins are a unique species of bird, you may still be clueless as to why they don’t gravitate to the birdseed.

Fortunately, you can increase the likelihood of robins making regular visits to your property through the steps below.


How to Attract Robins

You can attract robins by setting out mealworms or fruit. Robins are also attracted to water, so a fountain or birdbath may encourage robins to visit your property. Planting fruit-producing trees and shrubs is another sure way to attract robins, especially in the winter. In warmer seasons, they’re attracted to leaf piles and debris.


Robins Are Attracted to a Dependable Water Source

Robins need an adequate supply of water to survive, as do most birds. They are also very meticulous with regards to their hygiene as dirt will weigh down their feathers and make it difficult for them to fly.

Therefore, robins are attracted to fountains and birdbaths, especially during the colder months when much of their water sources have become frozen.

If you don’t have a fountain in your yard, you can simply set out shallow dishes of water for the robins. Once they realize that there is a daily water source supplied on your property, they will likely return for regular visits.


Robins Are Attracted to Meal Worms and Fruit

Although birdseed is not on the menu for robins, they do enjoy meal worms, berries, and fruit, depending on what season it is. A robin’s diet fluctuates with the changes in temperature.

While robins live on earthworms throughout the warmer portion of the year, fruit and berries become their preferred meals during the winter season.

Since robins regularly visit water sources, you may want to try placing a dish of mealworms or berries next to a fountain or birdbath to increase the chances of the robins finding the food.

Robins enjoy softened raisins, cranberries, and apple slices.


Robins Are Attracted to Fruit-producing Trees and Shrubs

If you are truly dedicated to attracting robins, a surefire way to accomplish this is to plant berry-producing shrubs and fruit trees in your yard.

While this will attract a variety of birds to your property, robins will likely be amongst your feathered visitors.

Of course, the types of trees and shrubs that you decide to plant may vary depending upon which plants are native to your location, but juniper and hackberry are two of the berry-producing shrubs that tend to attract robins.

Since many robins choose not to migrate to warmer climates during the winter, a location that is rich in fruits and berries will be attractive to robins throughout the year.


Robins Are Attracted to Piles of Leaves and Debris

Sure, fruit trees and berry-producing shrubs are more appealing to have in your yard than piles of leaves would be, but robins alter their diets seasonally and may hold off on consuming the berries until the temperatures begin to drop.

During the spring and summer, robins primarily consume worms, and it’s common knowledge that worms often hide underneath piles of leaves and brush.

If you rake up your leaves, you can attract the robins by leaving the leaves to accumulate in a pile rather than bagging them up.

There is a good chance that your neighborhood robins will periodically stop by your property to look for worms that may be hidden underneath the pile of leaves.


Robins are Unable to Digest Birdseed

The tried and true method of attracting birds is to set out a bird feeder and fill it with birdseed, but this method is ineffective when it comes to robins.

While robins are indeed known to be picky eaters, their avoidance of the bird feeder has little to do with preference. It’s not that the robins don’t like the birdseed.

They are simply incapable of chewing and digesting it.

While common sense may tell you to replace the birdseed with an item that robins eat, this tactic won’t work either- unless the robin has observed other birds visiting the feeder.

Robins are used to getting their food off of the trees or from inside the ground, so they may not even check out the bird feeder to see what is in it.


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Attract Robins


What Can I Put in My Bird Feeder for Robins?

Since robins naturally feed off of trees and the ground, it is unlikely that the robins will even visit the bird feeder. Alternatively, you can leave out small meal trays on the ground with berries, fruit, and worms for your local robins.


How Do You Attract a Robin to a Nesting Box?

Robins are unlikely to visit exposed nesting boxes, as they tend to create their nests within vegetation. If you want to set out a nesting box for a robin, they will be more inclined to settle into it if it is hidden inside naturally occurring foliage.



While robins rarely visit bird feeders and are unable to consume birdseed, it isn’t too difficult to attract robins provided you know which foods they enjoy and are aware of their seasonal diet changes.

Although you can go all out by planting berry-producing shrubs and leaving piles of leaves in your yard, a shallow bowl of water and a tray of fruit may be sufficient to attract robins to your property.

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[…] Robins are popular backyard visitors. However, they don’t frequent bird feeders despite being among the most prevalent backyard birds. […]