Robins fly high and fast
Q: At what altitude do robins fly while migrating? I've heard it's 30,000 feet. --Jim, Sidney, Ohio
A: You might be thinking of the Bar-headed Goose, which is probably the highest- flying migrant.
Mountaineers see them flying over the Himalayas at 28,000 feet.
[Corel] Robins fly at most 9800 feet high.
The American Robin does fly high, though, typically 1,600 to 3,300 feet (500 to 1000 meters) above terrain.
Like the Bar-headed Goose crossing the Himalayas, they fly at higher altitudes above higher ground: going up
to at least, 9800 feet high. Robins flit fast while migrating, traveling at about 30 miles (50 kilometers) per
As John James Audubon observed in 1838:
The flight of the Robin is swift, at times greatly elevated and capable of being long sustained. During the periods of its migrations, which
are irregular, depending upon the want of food or the severity of the weather, it moves in loose flocks over a space of several hundred
miles at once, and at a considerable height. From time to time a few shrill notes are heard from different individuals in the flock. Should
the weather be calm, their movements are continued during the night, and at such periods the whistling noise of their [wings] is often
heard. During heavy falls of snow and severe gales, they pitch towards the earth, or throw themselves into the woods, where they remain
until the weather becomes more favourable.
(Answered by April Holladay, science correspondent, Apr. 10, 2002)
Journey North: American robin
50 states.com: Birds of America by John James Audubon