What Do Robins Eat in The Winter? (Foods & Feeding Tips)

Robins are usually not selective in terms of eating behavior. But winter is a crucial part of every bird’s life, and also for the robins. Of course, they become selective in eating foods in the winter, but what do robins eat in the winter?

Robins usually eat fruits and berries in the winter, and they can also eat mealworms if they see them. Read to know what fruits and berries with other foods you can feed robins.

Table of Contents:

What Fruits Do Robins Eat In The Winter?

In cold weather, robins usually eat seasonal berries, other sweet fruits, and leftovers on vines and shrubs. These birds find winter challenging for their habitat and eating patterns because their usual meal sources tend to be frozen.

what do robins eat in the winter, robins food in the winter

Insects and worms don’t appear too often in winter, which makes robins partially rely on fruits. However, they hunt the invertebrates whenever they get a chance.

That’s one of the major reasons robins can be seen anywhere in your backyard on trees or berry bushes and vines. Robins majorly love sweet fruits and always prefers to eat the tastiest fruits first.

They are very picky about citrus fruits like oranges, some might eat them, or others may leave. Here are some favorite fruits of robins’ specifically in winter.


  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Hawthorn berries
  • Honeysuckle berries
  • Sumac Berries
  • Raspberries
  • Juniper Berry

Seasonal & Summer Leftover Fruits

  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Chokecherries

Robin loves to eat these delicious fruits because fruits are an excellent source of sugar and energy for all birds.

These are essential to maintain energy during autumn, winter, and summer. Those all are major breeding seasons.

In winter, robins feed on fruits, which helps them maintain body temperature in cold weather conditions and keep their energy and metabolic activity high to migrate and survive in different weathers.

If you want to attract robins in your garden, that’s quite simple. Just place their favorite fruits finely sliced in your garden, and they would be happy to give you a visit.

But keep in mind that robins aren’t likely to eat from bird feeders. This is because they are grown up learning that fruits can only be found on trees or shrubs.

So to attract them in winter, you can plant a fruit tree so it will be all grown and fruity in the next season to host robins. Also, you can use ground platform trays that stimulate them to flock and find their food.

What Vegetables Do Robins Eat In The Winter?

The typical diet of a robin consists of 60% and 40% invertebrates. Robins aren’t fond of eating vegetables. They are naturally more attracted to fruits as they grow up and learn from their habitat.

Robins are also very picky about taste, and this is one of the reasons they love fruits. However, robins eat bird seeds and nuts like peanuts, corn, and dried raisins.

In winter, they start eating more delicious fruits first and then move towards the less tasty fruits until spring is there again. What do baby robins eat?

Do Robins Eat Seeds In Winter?

Robins only eat dry bird seeds in the winter. When seeds get wet due to moisture, they may start germinating and sprouting. But birds don’t eat sprouting seeds.

Do Robins Eat Bread?

In the winter season, robins don’t go for any seeds as there are high chances of seed sprouting.

These clumps clog the feed, and seeds are not readily available to robins. So make sure, if you are feeding robins in your garden, the feeding tray must be dry.

Another issue with wet seeds is that they will start to develop, which encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.

In addition, these seeds can be fatal for birds and cause a strong bad odor, repelling robins from the site. Hence, dry bird seeds are more attractive and healthier for all birds.

What Do Robins Eat When There Is Snow On The Ground?

In extreme winter conditions, robins struggle to find their daily meals. When the ground is covered with it during snowfalls, they cannot find the fruits in shrubs.

They neither can hunt any invertebrates because all of them are under frozen soil. So, what do robins eat when there is snow on the ground?

They usually opt to eat the berries hanging on trees because those are the only safe meals for hunting when there is snow on the ground.

Other than that, we can support these birds while they are struggling by placing dried mealworms, berries, or suet.

You can clear the snow before setting out the meal for robins. This will help them flock to the area and find their meals.

Perhaps during extreme seasons, robins eat fallen pieces of fruits on the ground and cherries from trees.

Followed by bird lovers, should look after the birds’ meals, especially in winter, because this is a very crucial time for every bird. They have to fuel themselves up to survive.

Best Foods To Feed Robins In The Winter?

As discussed earlier, in winter, robins rely on fruits, nuts, or suet. So the best food for your robins are the fruits mentioned above, just cut them into thin slices and let them flock and find.

You can also buy dried or live mealworms to give them a little treat of protein in challenging weather conditions. Can baby robins eat mealworms?

Robins also love to eat bird seeds, and dried berries or you can feed them softened raisins or oatmeal as well. All of them are the best natural feeds for robins in winter.

Full of essential nutrition food needed to maintain their healthy growth metabolism and keep them warm as they store fat.

Will Robins Eat Birdseed In The Winter?

Yes, robins eat bird seeds in winter. But here, you shouldn’t mistake bird seeds with all other seeds. Bird seeds are special seeds that are part of their diet.

Like other birds, robin also eats birdseed whenever they get them. Some of their favorite bird seeds are Nyjer Seeds, sunflower seeds, and unsalted peanuts.

You can feed these seeds to robins in winter. Just mix them up and place them in a ground platform tray. Listen to them sinning out of joy!

How Much To Feed Robins In Winter?

In winter, robins need ample food to keep their metabolism active, which helps them stay healthy and warm while they build fat storage. So in spring, a healthy robin eats a good amount of feed.

According to research, an American robin can eat up to 14 feet of earthworms in a single day, which makes it 12 whole earthworms per robin.

Hence, worms and other invertebrates make up 15 to 20 percent of their entire summer diet.

Of course, Robins will eat worms over fruits any day, but this eating pattern is replaced by maximum fruits along with bird seeds and nuts in winter.

In winter, this diet comes to only 1-5% because it’s challenging to find worms and other insects in winter.

That’s why a robin needs to be fed after several hour’s breaks. Diet should consist of berries, fruits, bird seeds, and nuts to ensure the robin has all the necessary nutrition.

If feasible, you can also add mealworms from pet shops to their diet, and this will boost their metabolism.

Don’t overfeed them, only make enough of a diet mixture sufficient for one day. And prepare a new diet for robins the next day.

Winter is a golden opportunity to attract robins in your gardens and backyards, take care of their diet, and enjoy the Zen of birdwatching.


Robins need to keep themselves energetic for living during winter. For keeping full of energy, they need foods full of nutrition. That’s why robins need to eat nutritional foods in the winter.

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