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Get a Grip

How does a robin stay on the branch when sleeping or perched? The robin's feet get a good grip! Most perching birds have four toes on each foot with a claw at the end of each toe.  When a robin settles and bends its legs to perch, the stretched tendons of the lower leg flex the toes around the branch and clamp Robin in place. This "perching reflex" is automatic. The robin also has good balance.

Photo: Don Severson

American robin perched on a tree branch

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