What Do Robins Eat?

While gardening, you may suddenly be joined by a robin looking for food. What do the cute songbirds eat? How can you help them find food?

To the point

  • robins are partial migrants
  • food includes insects, worms and berries
  • ecological gardening without chemicals preserves habitats of the robin
  • the birds are curious and trusting
  • foraging is mostly done hopping on the ground

List of food
Robins (Erithacus rubecula) prefer to eat:

Rotkehlchen
  • Insects and their larvae
  • Spiders
  • Worms
  • Beetles
  • flies
  • small snails


In the cold season, when few insects can be found, they feed on berries.

Robin food in winter
A large number of the beautiful birds with the red belly stay in Germany in winter. Especially in hard winters, the birds have a hard time finding enough food. You can make their search for food easier with a feeder. But beware, robins only eat soft fat food. They cannot consume the hard grains in many birdseed mixes. When buying mixes, make sure they are labeled as suitable for your backyard birds.
Robin food contains:

  • Rolled oats
  • hulled sunflower seeds
  • raisins
  • chopped peanuts
  • hulled oatmeal
  • chopped corn kernels
  • yellow millet
  • dried mealworms

This mixture also attracts blue tits, great tits, blackbirds, thrushes, nuthatches and starlings.

Note: Food scraps are not suitable for native bird species and do not belong in the feeder!

Cheap birdseed mixes often contain seeds of ragweed. If you want to prevent the spread of the plant in your own garden, you can prepare the bird food yourself.

Prepare robin food yourself
Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of beef suet
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • oatmeal
  • yellow millet
  • corn
  • raisins
  • peanuts
  • peeled sunflower seeds
  • dried mealworms

Instructions:

  • Heat beef tallow in a water bath
  • add cooking oil
  • chop all ingredients and mix with the liquid fat
  • let it cool down a bit
  • fill into containers or form with greaseproof paper

Facilitate foraging in the garden
Everyone can help protect the robin in their garden. Refrain from using pesticides and design your garden close to nature. Piles of brushwood and leaves are an important shelter for insects that serve as food for the red-bellied garden bird. If you don’t completely clean up your property, you can enjoy the curious songbirds year-round.

Frequently asked questions


How does a garden become attractive to robins?


Shrubs and hedges are important robin habitat. Don’t cut off all faded flower spikes in the fall. Leave some as winter habitat for insects. Winter birds will find food this way. Place a birdhouse and birdbaths in sheltered spots. Cover compost piles in winter to help birds access insects.

What to consider when winter feeding in a birdhouse?


The feeder must be protected from moisture. Likewise, do not allow droppings to get between the bird feeder, as diseases can be transmitted through it. Make sure that the bird house is regularly filled and cleaned. Do not use harsh chemicals for cleaning.

Is year-round bird feeding recommended?


Garden birds can be fed year-round. This is provided that hygiene is maintained at the feeding sites and that appropriate feed is provided. Year-round feeding is advised by bird conservation associations to preserve bird life. Design your garden close to nature for the protection of birds and insects.

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