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Feeding Winter Robins: Tips for Creating a Bird-Friendly Yard

November 23, 2023
5 minutes read
A winter landscape with a few robins gathered around a bird-friendly yard

Are you tired of seeing empty bird feeders in your yard during the winter months? Have you ever wondered how to attract those beautiful, red-breasted robins to your backyard? Well, you're in luck! In this article, we will be sharing some tips and tricks on how to create a bird-friendly yard that will have those winter robins flocking to your doorstep.

Creating a Bird-Friendly Yard for Robins

Providing Shelter and Nesting Spots for Robins

Robins love to have a safe place to call home, especially during the winter when the weather can be harsh. To attract these feathered friends, consider installing a few birdhouses in your yard. Make sure the entry hole is suitable for robins and place the houses in locations protected from strong winds and predators. The robins will thank you for providing them with a cozy spot to rest and nest.

When selecting birdhouses for robins, it's important to choose ones with an open cup design. Robins prefer nesting in open cups rather than enclosed spaces. The cup-shaped nests provide a comfortable and secure environment for raising their young. You can even add some soft nesting materials, such as grass clippings or small twigs, near the birdhouses to make it easier for the robins to build their nests.

Another way to provide shelter for robins is by planting dense shrubs and trees in your yard. These plants not only offer protection from predators but also create a natural habitat for robins to rest and seek refuge. Consider planting evergreen trees like pine or spruce, as they provide year-round cover and can serve as windbreaks during the winter months.

Choosing the Right Plants to Attract Robins

If you want to have a yard full of robins, it's all about the plants! Start by planting native trees and shrubs that produce berries. Robins have a bit of a sweet tooth and are attracted to fruit-bearing plants like holly, dogwood, and viburnum. Plus, these plants add a pop of color to your yard during the otherwise drab winter months.

When selecting berry-producing plants, it's important to choose ones that ripen at different times throughout the year. This way, you can provide a continuous food source for robins, ensuring they stay in your yard for longer periods. For example, planting a combination of early ripening berries like serviceberries and late ripening berries like winterberries can keep robins well-fed throughout the seasons.

Additionally, consider planting a variety of seed-producing flowers and grasses, such as coneflowers and switchgrass. These provide a source of food for robins and can be a feast for their eyes as well. The vibrant colors of the flowers and the swaying movement of the grasses can attract robins from afar. Creating a diverse and visually appealing landscape will not only attract robins but also other bird species, making your yard a birdwatcher's paradise.

Furthermore, incorporating a water feature into your yard can also attract robins. Robins love to bathe and drink water, so providing a shallow birdbath or a small pond can be a great way to entice them. Make sure to keep the water clean and fresh, changing it regularly to prevent the spread of diseases.

By creating a bird-friendly yard with suitable shelter, nesting spots, and a variety of food sources, you can transform your outdoor space into a haven for robins. Enjoy the sights and sounds of these beautiful birds as they make your yard their home.

Nourishing Winter Robins: What to Feed Them

Robins are beautiful birds that bring joy to our gardens and parks all year round. While they can find natural food sources in plants, it's always a good idea to supplement their diet during the winter months. Providing them with nutritious foods not only helps them survive the colder temperatures but also supports their overall health and well-being.

Nutritious Foods to Support Robins During Winter

When it comes to feeding robins during winter, there are several options that they will truly enjoy. One popular choice is mealworms. These small, wiggly creatures are packed with protein and are a favorite among robins. You can easily find mealworms at pet supply stores or even consider growing your own if you're feeling adventurous!

In addition to mealworms, robins also appreciate earthworms. These slimy creatures are not only a great source of protein but also contain essential nutrients that help robins stay healthy during the winter months. If you have a garden, you might be able to find earthworms by gently digging into the soil. Just make sure to replace any disturbed soil afterward to maintain the health of your garden.

Another option to consider is dried fruits. Robins have a sweet tooth and enjoy the occasional treat. Dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, and currants can be a delightful addition to their diet. Just make sure to offer them in moderation as too much sugar can be harmful to their health.

DIY Bird Feeders for Winter Robins

If you're looking for a fun and rewarding project to engage with nature, creating your own bird feeders can be a great option. Not only will you save a few bucks, but you'll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you're providing a valuable food source for the robins in your area.

One simple and eco-friendly idea is to repurpose a plastic bottle. Start by cutting two holes near the bottom of the bottle, big enough for the robins to access the food. Then, fill the bottle with birdseed, making sure to choose a mix that is suitable for robins. Hang the feeder up in a tree or attach it to a post, and watch as the robins flock to enjoy the buffet you've provided.

If you're feeling more creative, you can also explore other DIY bird feeder designs. From pinecone feeders coated in peanut butter and seeds to wooden feeders with multiple compartments, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to choose materials that are safe for the birds and easy to clean to maintain their health and hygiene.

Feeding robins during winter not only helps them survive the harsh conditions but also allows us to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of these wonderful creatures. So, go ahead and provide them with nutritious foods and a cozy feeding spot, and enjoy the delightful sight of robins visiting your garden all winter long!

Ensuring Robins Thrive During Winter Months

Creating a Winter Habitat for Robins

To truly make your yard a winter wonderland for robins, consider adding some features that provide shelter and protection from the elements. You can install a heated birdbath where robins can drink and bathe even in freezing temperatures. Adding a brush pile or leaving a few leaf piles untouched can also provide cover for robins.

Protecting Robins from Harsh Winter Conditions

While robins are hardy birds, extreme winter weather can still be challenging for them. One way to help is to wrap the trunk of any thin-barked trees with burlap to protect them from cold winds. Also, it's important not to use chemical pesticides in your yard, as they can harm the birds and their food sources. Opt for natural pest control methods instead.


Q: How do I know if robins are visiting my yard during winter?

A: Look out for their distinctive red breast and listen for their sweet melodious song. You may also notice them hopping around your yard in search of food.

Q: Are there any plants I should avoid planting in my yard?

A: Yes, avoid planting non-native invasive species, as they can disrupt local ecosystems and harm native plants. It's best to choose native plants that support the local bird population.


By creating a bird-friendly yard for robins, you not only provide them with a safe haven during the winter months but also get to enjoy the beauty and joy they bring. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening tools, and get ready to welcome these delightful birds into your yard. Happy birding!

About me
Liz Walker
Liz Walker
Hey there! I am Liz, a dedicated gardener and nature enthusiast with over two decades of hands-on experience.
Through my articles, I share insights ranging from organic pest control to creating stunning garden designs.
My aim is to inspire you with the joys of gardening, providing practical advice that makes nurturing your green space both fulfilling and enjoyable.
More about Liz
Liz Walker
Liz Walker
Hey there!

I am Liz, the founder of MyAeroGardening. 
Through my articles, I share insights ranging from organic pest control to creating stunning garden designs.
My aim is to inspire you with the joys of gardening, providing practical advice that makes nurturing your green space both fulfilling and enjoyable.
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