Last week I was at the Fort Smith Historic Site here in Arkansas and I saw a large number of American Robins. They were picking up something in the leaves and it took me awhile to see what it was. The Robins were feeding on caterpillars. I was able to photograph one of the American Robins with one in its beak.
The American Robins will be gathering nesting materials very soon. It is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its summer range from its winter range.
The robin uses auditory, visual, olfactory and possibly vibrotactile cues to find prey, but vision is the predominant mode of prey detection. It is frequently seen running across lawns picking up earthworms, and its running and stopping behavior is a distinguishing characteristic. In addition to hunting visually, it also has the ability to hunt by hearing. Experiments have discovered that it can find worms underground by simply using its listening skills. It typically will take several short hops and then cock its head left, right or forward to detect movement of its prey. In urban areas, robins will gather in numbers soon after lawns are mowed or where sprinklers are in use. They also are attracted to freshly turned earth in gardens, where worms and grubs are abundant targets. Occasionally, they may visit bird feeders if mealworms or animal-fat suet is offered. (Source: Wikipedia)
American Robin With Caterpillar - Fort Smith National Historic Site - Arkansas