Changing Seasonal Status and First Known Breeding Activity of Rufous-backed Robin in the United States

Articles | By Cristina Kondrat-Smith and Troy Corman | Accepted July 30, 2020

Rufous-backed Robin (Turdus rufopalliatus) observations in the southwestern U.S. have steadily increased during the past decade, particularly in Arizona. This includes late spring and summer records. From fall 2017 through winter 2018, unprecedented numbers of these robins were documented in Arizona, with some lingering well into May. Then in June 2018, observers first noted breeding activity from a pair of Rufous-backed Robins in Ramsey Canyon, Huachuca Mountains, in southeastern Arizona. Breeding activity observed included singing, collecting nesting material, territorial chase bouts with nearby American Robins (Turdus migratorius), and ultimately, feeding nestlings and fledglings. This nesting endeavor was intermittently monitored and photographed through early August, providing the first documented nesting activity of Rufous-backed Robins within the U.S.