Asked Questions about Robins: General Information
I think I heard a robin in England. Is that possible? While
in England a few years ago, it was around dusk and I heard the distinct
chirping of what I thought was a robin. And in the shadows of early evening
the movements as well were the robin we know here in NJ. But when I saw
the same bird in the daylight, it was a dark brown, almost black, with
no orange-red on it. Are they related?
Q. What are the biggest dangers robins face?
A. Most robins die from cats, hawks, and other predators, from accidents such as bonking into windows, car strikes, and electrocution, infectious diseases, and poisoning. Insecticides can be very harmful to robins. If you use lawn sprays, be sure that they don't have insecticides as well as the weed-killing herbicides and fertilizers.
A. There are many forms of albinism. A true albino robin has no body pigments at all, including in the eyes. Birds lacking any pigments in their eyes have no protection from sunlight, and go blind when fairly young. But if a bird has normal eye pigments, sometimes it can survive a long time with pure white feathers. A bird in this situation is called a partial albino. So are birds that have white patches here and there on otherwise normal-colored plumage. In some partial albinos, white patches are perfectly symmetric. In others, they are more randomly arranged. Some birds are born partial albinos, and sometimes they develop patches of white after traumatic events, such as being attacked by a hawk.
Some robins don't have any pure white patches, but DO appear far more pale than others. Ornithologists call this condition leucism or dilution. This is a genetic condition when birds produce less-than-normal amounts of normal pigments.