Do Robins Eat Worms? (The Benefits, Why, and How Many Per Day)

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Robins are particularly known to eat insects and worms, but also feed on fruit and nuts wherever they find them.

During spring, they lurk around gardens in search of worms.

Robins are in constant search of earthworms, mealworms, and jumping worms, among other kinds of worms that they love to eat.

In every backyard or soil-rich garden, you’ll notice there’s a high chance of seeing a Robin or two, with one eye, laser-focused on a few worms in the soil.

You may even notice a robin pulling up an earthworm through the soil with their beak.

They are always looking for juicy and non-suspecting worms to pick up…sometimes in quick succession!

To answer the question, yes, robins do eat worms and can even eat up to 14 feet of earthworms every single day during their nesting season! They can eat a worm every 3-4 minutes, or less!

In this article, we’ll be unraveling the major mysteries of Robins and everything you need to know about this delightful bird species. Without any further ado, check out these amazing facts about Robins.

Do Robins Eat Earthworms?

As many other bird species do, Robins also eat earthworms.

Interestingly, earthworms make up about 40% of a Robin’s diet.

They use two major senses- sight and sound to scout for earthworms

More so, they are incredible hunters of earthworms and can feed on about 20 earthworms in a record time of one hour.

Do Robins Eat Mealworms?

If you held up an American robin and asked what its favorite food is, without second thoughts, I’d bet it’ll tell you that it is mealworms.

An American robin can spend the whole nesting season trying to gather enough mealworms – their favorite before they scram back into the dark, moist areas they normally live.

Robins enjoy eating mealworms a lot and on a good day, you can even expect them to eat up to 100 mealworms!

Do Robins Eat Jumping Worms?

Another tasty species of worms that the American robin loves to eat are jumping worms.

However, jumping worms always give them a hard time when hunting.

Jumping worms, unlike other worms, give Robins a run for their hunt because;

  1. They wriggle a lot making it quite difficult for Robins to comfortably eat them.
  2. They do not taste as good as other kinds of worms, so the Robin may spit them out almost immediately after picking them.

NOTE: These points are just theories based on various research. Nonetheless, the fact remains that Robins will definitely attempt to eat jumping worms when searching for food.

Why Do Robins Eat Worms?

Robins love to eat worms above all other kinds of foods that make up their diet in the wild like berries, beetles, seeds, fruits, spiders.

If you’re wondering why this is, then check out the highlighted reasons based on our research below:

1. For protein supplementation

Naturally, Robins are invertebrates.

And due to this nature, the common foods you’ll normally catch them with are worms and insects like spiders, among others.

However, their nature of being invertebrates is not the only reason why they eat worms.

They particularly eat worms during their nesting season. But why?

Well, the reason is not too far-fetched; they eat worms because of their rich protein value.

Protein is an essential part of a Robin’s diet and necessary for their healthy development and growth as well.

This is particularly important when they are expending more energy caring for babies.

2. Vitamins and Minerals

Worms are tiny, slimy invertebrates and are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.

As well as protein, worms provide vitamins and minerals such as:

  • essential and healthy fats
  • riboflavin – (vitamin B12)
  • iron
  • zinc

These help to improve their eyesight, hearing, feathers, reproductive system, and the immune system.

How Many Worms Can Robins Eat a Day?

Robins are incredibly skilled hunters when it comes to searching for and eating worms.

An average American robin can eat at least 20 earthworms per hour.

If you do your calculations right, that’s about fourteen feet of earthworms per day consumed by one robin. Pretty crazy, right?

You’ll no doubt be curios to know how these tiny birds manage to consume this amount of worms.

Hang on until the end of this article and you’ll know how they perform this feat.

Do Robins Eat Live Worms?

Yes, Robins eat live worms.

You’ll find them in backyards and rich gardens picking up worms from the soil in quick movements.

They either dig the soil with their beak or wait for their allies – rain and moles.

When it rains, worms usually emerge from the soil to the surface because of the vibrations caused by the pattering.

In a similar vein, they tend to escape their habitats when moles run through the soil.

They hate to be disturbed and turbulence is what rain and moles bring them. Robins detect when this is going to happen.

Once the tiny worms feel they have escaped the nuisance of rain and the movements of moles, it is time for the patient Robin at the surface to pick them up and eat – Yummy!

However, considering the case of whether an American robin will eat a dead worm or not, we’ve found no reason in our research as to why they shouldn’t.

A simple logical explanation; Robins have only 50 taste buds when compared to a human’s 9000.

That gives them a lesser sense of taste which and they depend more on their sight and hearing when hunting.

Though they can taste worm waste on the ground and forage around these areas knowing that their feed is nearby!

To cap off, whether a worm is alive or not, an American robin will still make a go of eating it.

How Do Robins Find Worms?

Robins find worms with almost all of their senses.

However, they utilize three of them the most when hunting and they include; Vision, hearing, and touch.

Check out how they use these senses to find worms when hunting:

1. Vision

Robins are predators that rely heavily on their sharp eyesight.

When hunting, they tilt one eye to face the soil to monitor the worm’s subtle movements.

But it is also thought this is done to listen for predators.

This makes sense since they’re looking for prey on the ground, they’re more vulnerable than when flying or in trees.

When a worm wriggles or makes a sound at the surface, the Robin is prompted to action.

And before you say “Hey ROBIN!”, you’ll see the robin pulling worms through the soil and they’re long gone in the Robin’s belly.

2. Hearing

Robins also find worms with the aid of their exceptional hearing.

When the worms leave their comfort zone and come to the surface, they try to move slowly and hardly make sounds.

Humans can’t hear worms move, but it’s a trait of Robins and their exceptional hearing to hear their silent movements.

A single strand of grass overturned in the worm’s journey will be heard by the Robin.

Consequently, that’s one worm down!

3. Touch

Robin’s feet is another way it uses to catch its prey – worms.

They detect movements under their feet and use their beak to dig out the worms.

Robins feed using all three of these enhanced senses!

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What Do Robins Eat Besides Worms?

Robins are warm-blooded vertebrates and omnivores – which means they eat both meat and plant-based sources.

This means they have access to more food that either carnivores or herbivores.

They will find food from many sources including:

  • seeds
  • insects
  • sunflower hearts
  • fruit
  • crushed peanuts
  • suet
  • beetles
  • and raisins.

However, their food sources can change with the seasons and isn’t the same year round.

Winter food may be different from their summer food sources.


This is when you’ll see them foraging for any food they can find to sustain themselves. Berries, insects and whatever they can get their beaks on are fair game.

If they don’t find any foods during this season, they’ll migrate.

spring and early summer

This is where the they start to nest, so you’ll find them add more calcium-rich foods to their diet, such as insects.

This is because the calcium from this food source help them to form eggs.


As the temperatures cool and we approach fall, they will look to add more fruit and vegetables vegetables to their diet.

They’ll feed on whatever fruit and vegetables become available to them in the wild.

So, keep the seasons and the food they eat in mind if you want to keep robins in your garden year round.

Do Baby Robins Eat Worms?

Yes! Baby robins eat worms.

When the young Robins are just 5 days old, parent robins feed sizeable worms to the baby’s mouth.

And with time, they get used to eating worms and can eat large quantities as the weeks go by.

Check out subsequent sections to know more about the eating habit of young American robins.

Can Baby Robins Eat Whole Worms?

Yes, baby robins eat whole worms after a period before they are left to fend for themselves.

For the first 5 days of their life, they are pampered and the adult robin is in charge of hunting and feeding them as well by putting shorter pieces of worms in their mouth.

After about 2 weeks of eating short strands, they will be able to eat and digest whole worms themselves.

How Many Worms Do Baby Robins Eat a Day?

Baby Robins eat a lot of worms.

They need them to eat sufficiently to grow well, strong, and healthy.

In an attempt to make sure that the young Robin grows normally and has optimal strength, the adult robins find worms every 15-20 minutes.

It is quite tricky when trying to calculate how many worms a young Robin can eat per day.

This is because they eat worms in halves and are fed by the adult Robin.

It’s also hard to see a baby robin eat in the wild since parents will create nests in hidden places.

So, since an adult Robin can eat around 20 worms per hour, a baby Robin may eat an estimated 5-7 whole worms per hour (remember they are served in halves).

More so, a baby Robin can eat at least 14 feet of earthworms in a two-week nest life.

That’s considerably high since worms are not the only food they eat.

Curious to know what other foods a young Robin can eat? Don’t miss the next section!

What Do Baby Robins Eat Other than Worms?

Baby robins eat other foods apart from worms and they are grouped in the section below:


Here are a few fruits that a baby robin will happily eat:

1. Grapes.

2. Blackberries.

3. Blueberries.

4. Strawberries


Insects that baby Robins consider tasty include:

1. Crickets.

2. Beetles.

3. Grasshoppers.


On a final note, we have explicitly discussed essential things to know about Robins and other Robins common species like American Robins.

As mentioned earlier, you may see a robin eat worms at an immensely fast rate. The reason for this is unknown other than the fact they need that amount to sustain themselves!

Which means that robins are a bird that expend a LOT of energy and need this amount (14 feet every single day!) to sustain themselves.

We hope this article gave you an insight into the lives of Robins and Robins feeding relationship with worms.