What do Robins eat?

Lovingly known as the UK’s favourite bird, robins can be found all year round chirping away in gardens, parks, hedgerows, and woodlands.

Known for their striking red breast and bringing cheer with their joyful song, robins are one of the UK’s most popular birds. Seeing robins in your garden is one of the few sights that bring joy to pretty much everyone from wildlife enthusiasts to the avid gardener. With food sources that contain the right nutrients, you can entice robins to visit in the cold winter months and the warmer months too.

Robin in Morning Light

How can we attract more robins to visit us in our garden and what can we feed robins?

The most effective way to attract robins to your garden is to create plenty of safe spots for them to eat from. As small birds, robins are often competing against larger birds for food so it's integral that they can easily access food to eat, particularly in the colder months when winter arrives.

Robins are ground feeders so by leaving out a ground feeding tray or covered tray with a mixture of fruit and seeds or installing a bird table that contains bird feed for robins mix, as well as fresh water, you can help the birds eat as much as they need whilst out of harm's way.

Installing bird feeders, bird tables, hanging feeders and ground feeders in your garden and filling these with good quality food, is another way to attract robins and their feathered friends to your winter garden in no time.

If your garden is cat and dog free, you can even scatter some food across your garden lawn for the robins to help themselves and enjoy the challenge of foraging for their food. If you do have a dog or a neighbourhood cat in your garden, avoid putting food that will entice robins too low as you don't want to risk the robin being harmed. If that is the case, a bird feeder or bird table is best.

What do robins eat and what are their favourite foods?

Robins have a varied diet and by providing a good amount of food for robins to eat, you'll notice a big difference in the number of robins hopping around your garden for feeding as you become a great friend to the birds.

Robin in Bird Bath

The two favoured foods that robins love to eat are dried mealworms (beetle larva) and insects, especially beetles. In fact, you’ve probably noticed robins hopping around the garden pecking at the ground in order to try and find their favoured foods.

As well as mealworms and beetles, robins love eating insects and bugs including spiders, caterpillars, moths, snails, worms, centipedes, termites, and millipedes. They’re not fussy!

As well as robins hunting for their food, it’s never a bad idea to provide extra food sources that they can easily access. Whether you're serving fruit, seeds, sunflower suet, crushed peanuts or sunflower hearts, robins eat all the food to give the small birds the much-needed energy boost for breeding and nesting seasons.

Feeding in Colder Months

In the colder months, hardened balls made up of lard and seed provide a great source for robins who need the extra fat to see them through winter. Pop these in a feeder and robins can come back regularly to fill their fatty needs. Thanks to the seeds in the fat balls, robins will also get all of the nutrients they need too.

In addition to traditional bird feed such as seed mixes and fat balls, robins also love the following foods you can easily find in your kitchen at home. Robins enjoy feeding on fruit, even mouldy food that has become a bit too ripe for you to enjoy yourself. You'll likely attract other birds with these fruits too!

Other foods for robins to enjoy

You can also give robins fermented dairy products in small doses such as mild cheese or even better, mild grated cheese. Dried peas are another great household item to feed robins, especially to give an energy boost in the winter.

There aren’t many things you can find in the nature that robins won’t eat. Robins are fruit lovers and will eat any fruit or fruit seeds they can get their beaks round, including the fruits that aren’t safe for us humans to eat. Why not plant a fruit tree in your garden to share with the robins and entice them back to your garden all year round?

Robins quite literally go nuts for peanuts. So much so that they’ve been known to eat these straight from a human’s hand, particularly crushed peanuts. Getting close to feed robins will take patience and is never something that should be forced however over time, if a robin naturally gravitates towards you and wants to come closer, that’s great.

Other Garden Birds to expect when using Bird Feeders and Robin seed mixes.

Using bird tables and other feeders to attract birds to your garden are great ideas and really do work. You'll soon notice that even by using specific feed for one species of bird will still attract others! Feeding robins sunflower hearts for example will also attract blackbirds due to their softballs. Other species will likely include goldfinches and tits but most species will enjoy them!Robin in Trees

Feeding robins and other birds in your wildlife garden is great fun. Who knows, maybe you'll get to see some of that classic robin hopping from the robin redbreast. Seeds go on most bird feeding tables and feeders including if you're looking at ground feeding.

There are a whole host of other seeds that can be used on bird tables and most of them can be found stocked here, including brands such as nyjer seed - which robins eat! Dried mealworms go great too.


So, now that we've answered 'What do robins eat?' We hope that you've been left feeling inspired to welcome the garden birds to your outside space.

You don't have to spend a fortune to feed robins. With plenty of different robin feeding options, it’s easy to find cost-effective food for robins to eat. Robins are loyal and if you provide a good source of food for them as well as some fresh water, they’ll continue to visit and become a feathered friend for many years.

How many robins have you spotted in your garden?