Legend

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 anthropogenic 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 harvested stands of various ages. Vertical lines represent 90% confidence intervals.

  • American Robin commonly occurs across all forest, vegetation, and footprint types in the forested region, with the largest increase in relative abundance in young pine and black spruce forest stands, grass vegetation, and well site footprints.
  • 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 most soil types and human footprint types, American Robin relative abundance is highest in urban areas including urban/industrial, industrial (rural), and rural residential footprints 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 slightly negative relationship with hard linear footprint and a positive 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 negative relationship with hard and a slightly positive relationship with 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

Local Scale Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Forested Region

Figure: Local Scale Effects. Predicted changes to American Robin relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector (human footprint type) compared to the habitat it replaced (modelled reference condition with no human footprint). Sector effect values less than 0% indicate habitat suitability is reduced (predicted related abundance is lower) compared to reference conditions, and values more than 0% indicate habitat suitability is improved (predicted relative abundance is higher) compared to reference conditions.

  • All human footprint types 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 Population Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Regional Population Effects. Predicted change in the total regional population by industrial sector for American Robin. This incorporates the area of the footprint, the native habitats where the footprint occurs, and the species response to a particular footprint. Regional population effect values less than 0% indicate a predicted decrease in the regional population due to a particular sector’s footprint, and values greater than 0% indicate a predicted increase.

  • The regional population of American Robin is predicted to be more abundant than expected compared to reference conditions in the forested region as a result of agriculture and forestry footprint.
  • Changes in the regional population of American Robin are predicted to be small due to the other industrial sectors in the forested region.

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Local Scale Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Local Scale Effects. Predicted changes to American Robin relative abundance inside areas that have been disturbed by each sector (human footprint type) compared to the habitat it replaced (modelled reference condition with no human footprint). Sector effect values less than 0% indicate habitat suitability is reduced (predicted related abundance is lower) compared to reference conditions, and values more than 0% indicate habitat suitability is improved (predicted relative abundance is higher) compared to reference conditions.

  • All types of human footprint 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 Population Effects

Human Footprint Effects in the Prairie Region

Figure: Regional Population Effects. Predicted change in the total regional population by industrial sector for American Robin. This incorporates the area of the footprint, the native habitats where the footprint occurs, and the species response to a particular footprint. Regional population effect values less than 0% indicate a predicted decrease in the regional population due to a particular sector’s footprint, and values greater than 0% indicate a predicted increase.

  • The regional population of American Robin is predicted to be more abundant than expected compared to reference conditions in the prairie region as a result of agriculture footprint and to a lesser extent urban/industrial footprint.
  • Changes in the regional population of American Robin are predicted to be small due to the other industrial sectors in the prairie region.

Predicted Relative Abundance

The American Robin is found throughout the province of Alberta.

Predicted Relative Abundance - Current

The current condition is the predicted relative abundance of American Robin taking current human footprint (circa 2018) into account.

use slider to compare maps


Predicted Relative
Abundance (%)

Predicted Relative
Abundance (%)

Predicted Relative Abundance - Reference

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


Predicted Relative Abundance - Difference

The difference map shows areas where the current relative abundance of American Robin is predicted to be higher or lower compared to reference conditions. In other words, where habitat suitability is predicted to increase or decrease as a result of human footprint.


Predicted Change
in Relative
Abundance (%)
  • American Robin relative abundance is predicted to be higher under current conditions compared to reference conditions across 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. 2020. 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 anthropogenic 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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