Alberta Map
Alberta Map

Introduction

Over its decade-plus of operations, the ABMI has generated a comprehensive dataset on Alberta’s species, their habitats, and the extent and type of human footprint across the province. With this information, the ABMI has developed analyses to predict species' relative abundances and examine species' responses to vegetation and soil types, as well as human footprint in Alberta. These methods have been applied to hundreds of species; this profile provides summary results for one.

Habitat & Human Footprint Associations

The American Robin is a very adaptable bird that can be found in a range of habitats from natural settings such as forests and riparian areas to anthrogenic settings like urban areas, agricultural areas, and campgrounds. They generally prefer edge habitats that can be naturally or anthropogenically created.

Species-habitat Associations in the Forested Region

Forested Region - Species Habitat Association Graph: Predicted species relative abundance (bars) as a function of vegetation and human footprint type in the forested region. Dots are added to forest types where harvesting occurs and show the predicted species abundance in cutblocks of various ages. Vertical lines represent 90% confidence intervals.

  • American Robin commonly occur across all forest, vegetation and footprint types in the forested region.
  • American Robin predicted relative abundance is higher in young harvested stands compared to naturally disturbed stands of similar age and type in the forested region.

Species-habitat Associations in the Prairie Region

Non-Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Non-Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Treed Sites in the Prairie Region

Prairie Region - Species Habitat Association Graph: Predicted species relative abundance (bars) in each soil type and human footprint type in the prairie region. Vertical lines indicate 90% confidence intervals. The presence/absence of trees greatly affects the presence and abundance of many species; therefore, separate figures are presented for treed and non-treed sites in the prairie region.

  • American Robin relative abundance is higher at treed sites compared to non-treed sites in the prairie region.
  • While occurring at sites in all soil types and human footprint types, American Robin relative abundance is highest in urban/industry human footprint in the prairie region.

Relationship to Linear Footprint


Relationship to Linear Footprint in the Forested Region



Linear Footprint Graph: Species relative abundance predicted for habitat with no human footprint compared to habitat in which 10% of the area is converted to either soft or hard linear footprint.

  • American Robin predicted relative abundance has a positive relationship with hard linear footprint and no relationship with soft linear footprint in the forested region.

Relationship to Linear Footprint in the Prairie Region



Linear Footprint Graph: Species relative abundance predicted for habitat with no human footprint compared to habitat in which 10% of the area is converted to either soft or hard linear footprint.

  • American Robin predicted relative abundance has a positive relationship with hard and soft linear footprint in the prairie region.

Impacts of Human Footprint

The American Robin is adapted to many anthropogenic habitats including urban areas, agricultural areas, and young harvested forested stands. In northern Alberta, the distribution of the American Robin was found to be associated with both higher levels of human development (e.g. campgrounds, well pads, and roads) as well as the availability of non-native earthworms (Cameron and Bayne 2012).

Human Footprint Effects in the Forested Region

Under-footprint Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Forested Region

Figure: Under-footprint Effects. Percentage change in American Robin relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector in the forested region. Dot above bar indicates change in abundance is greater than 100%. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated under-footprint effect.

To understand how the American Robin is impacted by specific development activities, the under-footprint figure shows how American Robin relative abundance is predicted to change within each sector's footprint compared to the habitat it replaced (Figure: Under-footprint Effects).

  • All types of human disturbance greatly increase habitat suitability for American Robin in the forested region; therefore relative abundance of this species is predicted to be more abundant than expected in all human footprint categories compared to the habitat each footprint replaces.

Regional Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Regional Sector Effects. Percentage change in American Robin relative abundance throughout the forested region due to the respective footprints of each sector. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated regional effect.

The Regional Sector Effects graph shows the predicted change in the total relative abundance of the American Robin across the forested region due to each sector's footprint, considering the: area of the footprint in the region, under-footprint effect, and habitat types impacted by a particular sector (Figure: Regional Sector Effects).

  • At the regional scale, total population effects on American Robins for all industrial sectors are small in the forested region.
  • Forestry has the largest population effect on American Robins because the forestry footprint covers the largest area in the forested region.

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Under-footprint Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Under-footprint Effects. Percentage change in American Robin relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector in the prairie region. Dot above bar indicates change in abundance is greater than 100%. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated under-footprint effect.

To understand how the American Robin is impacted by specific development activities, the under-footprint figure shows how American Robin relative abundance is predicted to change within each sector's footprint compared to the habitat it replaced (Figure: Under-footprint Effects).

  • All types of human disturbance greatly increase habitat suitability for American Robin in the prairie region; therefore relative abundance of this species is predicted to be more abundant than expected in all human footprint types compared to the habitat each footprint replaces.

Regional Sector Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Regional Sector Effects. Percentage change in American Robin relative abundance throughout the prairie region due to the respective footprints of each sector. Refer to value above or below the bar for the estimated regional effect.

The Regional Sector Effects graph shows the predicted change in the total relative abundance of the American Robin across the prairie region due to each sector's footprint, considering the: area of the footprint in the region, under-footprint effect, and habitat types impacted by a particular sector (Figure: Regional Sector Effects).

  • At the regional scale, total population effects on the American Robin were small for all industrial sectors, except agriculture, in the prairie region.
  • Agriculture has the largest population effect on American Robins because the agriculture footprint covers the largest area in the prairie region.

Predicted Relative Abundance

The American Robin is found throughout the province of Alberta.

Reference Conditions

  • The reference condition shows the predicted relative abundance of the American Robin after all human footprint had been backfilled based on native vegetation in the surrounding area.

Current Conditions

  • The current condition is the predicted relative abundance of the American Robin taking current human footprint (circa 2016) into account.

Difference Conditions

  • American Robin relative abundance is predicted to be higher under current conditions compared to reference conditions across most of its Alberta range.

Other Issues

The North American American Robin population is generally considered to be stable to increasing, but it is vulnerable to pesticides and chemical pollution.

References & Credits

References & Credits

Cameron, E.K. and E.M. Bayne. 2012. Invasion by a non-native ecosystem engineer alters distribution of a native predator. Diversity and Distributions 18:1190-1198.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2016. All About Birds: American Robin. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin . Accessed May 10, 2016.

Sallabanks, R., F.C. James, N. Vanderhoff, P. Pyle and M.A. Patten. 2016. American Robin (Turdus migratorius) In: The Birds of North America, ed. P.G. Rodewald. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/amerob . Accessed May 10, 2016.

Data Sources

Information from ABMI bird point counts was combined with information from other organizations and individuals:

  • Environment Canada (North American Breeding Bird Survey and Joint Oil Sands Monitoring programs)
  • Ecological Monitoring Committee for the Lower Athabasca (EMCLA)
  • Dr. Erin Bayne (University of Alberta)

Photo Credits

Photos: TBD

Recommended Citation

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and Boreal Avian Modelling Project. 2019. American Robin (Turdus migratorius). ABMI Website: abmi.ca/home/data-analytics/biobrowser-home/species-profile?tsn=179759.

Additional ABMI Resources

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. 2016. ABMI Species Website Manual, Version: 2016-12-02. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Alberta, Canada. Report available at: abmi.ca.

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. 2014. Manual for Species Modeling and Intactness, Version 2014-09-25. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Alberta, Canada. Report available at: abmi.ca.

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. 2014. Terrestrial field data collection protocols (abridged version) 2016-05-18. Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Alberta, Canada. Report available at: abmi.ca.

Download ABMI Species and Habitat Data.

View ABMI Collaborations.

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for testing profile: [{QALog=

JCC NL approved Jan 3 2017

Niki Wilson Submitted Nov-7-2016 (modified for readability level)

Niki Wilson Submitted June-14-2015

Reviewed and added upon by Lucas Habib 

Niki Wilson Reviewed June-7-2016

KM reviewed and updated BB content 2016-06-16 to make sure content was updated to meet most recent changes to profile

SP added formatting July 8, 2016

KM approved BB 2016-08-03. Updated to 2016 data

Niki Wilson Approved on June-14-2015

Niki Wilson Published on June-14-2015

Niki Wilson Submitted on June-14-2015

Niki Wilson Published on June-14-2015

Niki Wilson Published on June-14-2015

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The American Robin is a familiar songbird commonly found in all natural regions throughout Alberta during the breeding season.

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The North American American Robin population is generally considered to be stable to increasing, but it is vulnerable to pesticides and chemical pollution.

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The American Robin is a very adaptable bird that can be found in a range of habitats from natural settings such as forests and riparian areas to anthrogenic settings like urban areas, agricultural areas, and campgrounds. They generally prefer edge habitats that can be naturally or anthropogenically created.

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The American Robin is adapted to many anthropogenic habitats including urban areas, agricultural areas, and young harvested forested stands. In northern Alberta, the distribution of the American Robin was found to be associated with both higher levels of human development (e.g. campgrounds, well pads, and roads) as well as the availability of non-native earthworms (Cameron and Bayne 2012).

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The American Robin is found throughout the province of Alberta.

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Cameron, E.K. and E.M. Bayne. 2012. Invasion by a non-native ecosystem engineer alters distribution of a native predator. Diversity and Distributions 18:1190-1198.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2016. All About Birds: American Robin. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin . Accessed May 10, 2016.

Sallabanks, R., F.C. James, N. Vanderhoff, P. Pyle and M.A. Patten. 2016. American Robin (Turdus migratorius) In: The Birds of North America, ed. P.G. Rodewald. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/amerob . Accessed May 10, 2016.

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LH - filled in missing BB, filled in and rewrote parts of NL.

Old profile -needs BB

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