Welcome...Spring's Journey North is Underway!
February - June, 2014

Here's the News!

Journey North News updates are published on this website and by e-mail. They are the core of Journey North and include the latest news, migration maps and data. Check the calendar for each species and seasonal event we're tracking.

Quick links to each news story are listed here...

Montage of clues

Mystery Class
Just one week left to submit your answers! What did you discover about sunlight and seasonal change as you searched for the ten secret sites?

WikiMedia Commons

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
In celebration of Earth Day, share the monarch's remarkable story to inspire your community to protect milkweed and nectar-rich habitats.

Image: Elizabeth Howard

Tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
Watch the tulips in your garden to study how they open and close.

Photo: Jane Lance

Bird

Weather & Songbird Migration
We have seen two weeks in a row with fallouts; will this week make three? Dr. Aborn says, "Just when you think spring has arrived for good, Mother Nature hits us with a surprise. That is what makes spring migration so exciting!"

Photo: Mike's Birds, via Wikimedia Commons

Symbolic monarchs are the way! Symbolic Migration
Watch your mailbox for their arrival the week of April 21st.
hummingbird Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are on the move. Rufous are moving east into the Rocky Mountains while ruby-throats are headed up the Atlantic Coast.

Photo: Jack Moskovita

Robin

American Robins
Robins instinctively know how to build perfect nurseries. How do they decide where to build them?

Photo: Wayne Kryduba

Ask the Students Symbolic Migration
You're invited to submit questions about life in the monarch overwintering area. Estela Romero will take your questions to local students.
Cranes

Whooping Cranes
Members of this endangered species usually mate for life. With so few cranes to pick from, how do they choose?

 

Live Cam: Osprey Arriving

Live Cam: Osprey Osprey Nest in Maine
Welcome home! At 6:59 pm the first of the Hog Island Osprey quickly touched down in the nest and glimpsed the beautiful sunset before taking flight. Raptor season has officially begun!

Penguin

Mystery Class
The final clues are here! It's time to find the secret locations and submit your answers.

Photo: WikiCommons

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
The final monarchs from Mexico are officially on their way! Following spring milkweeds, monarchs are spreading across their southern breeding range and are quickly producing the next generation.

Image: Kathy Metzge

Tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
As tulips emerge and bloom, what have you learned so far from your Test garden study?


Photo: Christine Wojtania

Bird Weather & Songbird Migration
The first official fallout of the season brought a great week of birding! Spring migration is approaching its peak in the South. For folks farther north, it is just getting cranked up.

Photo: Laura Erickson
hummingbird Hummingbirds
High winds brought an unexpected hummingbird to South Dakota. Hummingbird migration continues to advance this week.

Photo: Debra Hopkins

Search for your Ambassador Butterfly

Symbolic Migration
Mark your calendar: Symbolic Monarchs will be in your mailbox the week of April 21st!

Robin

American Robins
The robin chorus is spreading and the rush for robin real estate is on. Find out if your neighborhood has what robins seek in a territory.

Photo: Andy Wilson

Gray whale

Gray whales
By April, most adults and older juveniles are heading north from the warm wintering lagoons in Mexico and heading north. The moms and babies are next!

Photo: Caroline Armon

House

Mystery Class
The third set of Continent, Country, and City clues is here to help narrow your search. Final clues are next week.

Photo: WikiCommons

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
The monarchs are moving across Texas in full force now, and hundreds of thousands still remain in Mexico. Several unexpected sightings this week raise valuable questions.

Image: Estela Romero

Tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
This winter and spring have been the coldest on record; are gardens emerging in a pattern similar to previous years?

Photo: Akhri Cutler

Bird Weather & Songbird Migration
"The birds are really on the move!" reports Dr. David Aborn. Based on this week's weather map, what is the migration outlook for your locale?


Photo: Wikimedia
Cranes

Whooping Cranes
The eight young cranes led by ultralight planes to Florida last fall departed March 31 for their first journey north!

Photo: Brooke Pennypacker, Operation Migration

Robin

American Robins
Investigate leapfrog migration as we straddle two seasons and see the Robin Expert's answers to your questions. Report your robins!

Photo: Marc Landry

Sunlight and the Seasons
After a record-breaking cold winter, signs of spring are finally here.

Photo: Wikipedia

Carnivore Mystery Class
The second set of Continent, Country, and City clues is here. Build upon last week's clues and narrow your search even further.
Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
The first wave of migrants entered Texas and Estela says millions more are on their way from Mexico.

Image: Estela Romero

Tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
As tulips continue to emerge and bloom, each Test garden helps teach us about climate and geography.

Photo: Megan Swanson

Bird Weather & Songbird Migration
Old Man Winter just doesn't want to go away, says David Aborn in describing a week when only Texas reported significant influxes of migrants. The coming week looks better!


Photo: Laura Erickson
hummingbird Hummingbirds
Over 100 first rubythroat and rufous sightings came in this week — including one from a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico!

Photo: Allison Heater

Robin

American Robins
Slow and steady migration continues, and robin song is finally on the rise!

Photo: Maureen Sholly

Live Cam: Osprey Arriving

Live Cam: Osprey Arriving Soon
We're waiting for the osprey pair Rachel and Steve to return to their nest in Maine after a winter in South America. Last year they arrived on April 5th. The live cam is ready and transmitting.

Photo: Wikipedia

Arthropod

Mystery Class
It's time for the first set of Continent, Country, and City clues! Week by week, these clues reveal fun facts that will help you progressively narrow your search.

Photo: WikipediaCommons

Spring Equinox
It's spring! Are days and nights of equal length on the equinox? Report your daylight to see.

Photo: Wikipedia

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
We're Here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a dramatic departure on Thursday, and observers along the migration trail are waiting to report first arrivals.

Image: Estela Romero

Tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
Winter's grip continues through the first days of spring but there is still much to discover in the Test garden.

Photo: Ashley LaCount

hummingbird Hummingbirds
Rufous hummingbirds crossed into Canada this week while ruby-throats are just beginning to move northward.

Photo: Sarah Mayhew

Bird

Weather & Songbird Migration
It's the first week of spring and all those migrants waiting out last week's cold fronts should be able to take off again. Get ready for good birdwatching!

Photo: Laura Erickson

Robin

American Robins
Spring is coming! Observers reported more robin FIRST sightings than WAVES for the first time. With robins returning, it's time to salute another sign of spring: the lowly earthworm.

Photo: R. Bushby

video Mystery Class
Time Clues are here! Only on the equinox, locations at the same longitude experience sunrise at the same time. Use the clues to estimate longitude of the Mystery sites.
Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
We're waiting for news of the mass departure from Mexico and the first sightings in the north. Where will monarchs travel to find what they need this spring?

Image: Estela Romero

Student with tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
As daylength increases, the sun's rays heat up the soil. It's time to celebrate the first blooming gardens!

Photo: Holly Schack

hummingbird Hummingbirds
With one week until the spring equinox, birds are on the move. Hummingbird spotters will be rewarded for full feeders when their earliest migrants arrive.

Photo: TJ Wallace

Rose-breasted grosbeak

Weather & Songbird Migration
Much of the country got a taste of spring this week, and the birds liked it as much as the people! But that taste of spring is about to turn sour, according to the weather map.

Photo: Laura Erickson

Robin

American Robins
Flocks are starting to break up, with sightings of FIRST robins almost equal to sightings of WAVES as spring nears. Meet our Northern Observation Posts. When will they see robins?

Image: Christina Westley

Cranes

Whooping Cranes
The eight young cranes at St. Marks NWR in Florida knew there was a baby alligator in their pen long before their costumed caretakers did. Find out what happened!

Photo: Operation Migration

Sunrise on the Equinox

Mystery Class
The Vernal Equinox is coming! Only on the equinox, locations at the same longitude experience sunrise at the same time. Next week's Time Clues will help you estimate the longitude of the Mystery sites.

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
There's a flurry of activity as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. The journey north is about to begin!

Image: Gail Morris, Southwest Monarch Study

Student with tulips

Journey North Test Gardens
Test gardens are emerging! What pattern can you see on the maps?

Photo: Patsy Bowen

hummingbird Hummingbirds
Excitement abounds as hummingbirds slowly continue to arrive in coastal areas.

Photo: C. Pascoe

Blue-headed vireo

Weather & Songbird Migration
The birds are moving! "I wasn’t expecting the diversity of species that arrived this week," exclaimed Dr. David Aborn in his latest report. See which birds arrived, and get a preview of what current weather may bring next.

Photo: Laura Erickson

Robin

American Robins
March came in like a lion and robins are grouping up where they can find bare ground and food. Will we see a big push north when temperatures finally warm?

Image: Judy Van Tilburg

Cranes

Whooping Cranes
A few Whooping cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population are heading north! Pair #4-01 and #8-05 are among them. Have any of the youngest cranes begun migration?

Photo: David Mayes

Gray whale

Gray whales
Month-by-month: Follow the whales' northward migration from nursery lagoons in Mexico to feeding grounds in the Arctic. Daily Counts: From February to May, two research teams share data from the California coast, as northbound whales pass.

Photo: Kate Wynne

Groundhog

Sunlight and the Seasons
March 1st is the first day of meteorological spring! The coldest 3 months of a record-breaking winter are behind us now.

Photo: Wikipedia

National Maritime Museum

Mystery Class
Who am I? It's time to zero in on the line that divides the globe into Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

National Maritime Museum

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
As the end of the overwintering season rapidly approaches, important changes are taking place. Mating has begun and fat reserves are running low.

Image: Estela Romero

pointing at emerging tulip

Journey North Test Gardens
How does today's temperature compare to an average year? Study temperature anomalies to help predict Test garden emergence.

Photo: Judy Molnar

tree swallow

Weather & Songbird Migration
Dr. David Aborn is back to share migration news and help us read the weather like migrating songbirds. It is still too early for much movement, but the first signs of spring are appearing!

Photo: Laura Erickson

hummingbird Hummingbirds
The first migrating ruby-throated hummingbirds have arrived in Gulf Coast states. This week, explore the migration route and think about how prevailing winds affect migration.

Photo: Russ Thompson

Robins in snow

American Robins
Peak migration month is just around the corner: It's time to print out the observation checklist, sharpen your listening skills, and get your questions ready for robin expert Laura Erickson.

Image: Sandy Nyeholt

Frog: Time to wake up?

Mystery Class
Time to wake up? Clocks around the world are set at different times. This week, explore time zones to get ready for special clues coming in March.

CreativeCommons|G.Gallice

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
With migration set to begin within a month, people are rallying on behalf of the monarchs. Learn how you can help with the conservation initiatives now underway.

Image: Dr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College

pointing at emerging tulip

Journey North Test Gardens
What causes tulips to emerge? Subtle seasonal change is all around us. Where are tulips emerging?

Photo: Joy Thomas

hummingbird

Hummingbirds
What flying jewels can be seen right now along the Pacific Coast? Follow along on a trip to Costa Rica where rubythroats go during the cold northern winter.

Photo: John Doerper

Mystery Class

Mystery Class
With three weeks of data, can you tell which Mystery Class sites are north and south of your hometown?

Image: CreativeCommons/W.BaxterDr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College

Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies
Where are the monarchs? The distribution of this year's small population raises conservation concerns.

 

Image: Dr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College

gardens under the snow

Journey North Test Gardens
The spring equinox is just 35 days away. Who is seeing signs of spring?

Photo: Sherri Garbowski

Search for your Ambassador Butterfly

Symbolic Migration
Find your Ambassador Butterfly and see the student in Mexico who received it!

Four robins in a sn

American Robins
Huge flocks of robins are on the move in response to winter weather events. Where are they going?

 

Image: Robert Perron

Crane $4-13 chases away #4-12.

Whooping Cranes
The eight young crane-kids that migrated south last fall with aircraft leaders are now banded and flying free in Florida!

Operation Migration

Mystery Class Mystery Class
It's the second week of sunrise/sunset data. What will the photoperiod clues reveal about the locations of mystery sites?
Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies
The monarchs now overwintering in Mexico will serve as the seed stock for future generations. Learn how you can help.

Journey North Test Gardens

Journey North Test Gardens
Test gardens are still dormant in most locations. A few gardens are beginning to emerge. What is happening underground?

hummingbird Hummingbirds
Welcome to our 21st season! While we wait for the start of the spring migration, watch the maps for sightings reported during this in-between season.
Sunset Sunlight and the Seasons
Our Earth is moving 18 miles per second as it revolves around the sun. Watch the entire web of life respond to the seasonal changes in sunlight. Report your observations.
Mystery Class Mystery Class
Welcome to the Mystery Class Seasons Challenge! Tracking weekly changes in sunlight, can you solve the mystery and find the ten secret locations?
Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies
The number of monarchs overwintering in Mexico has plunged to a new low, with only 1.65 acres of forest covered with clustering butterflies.

American Robin

American Robins
Join citizen scientists across North America as we observe and track the spring migration. Where are robins now, and what are they doing?

Journey North Test Gardens

Journey North Test Gardens
Get ready to track the greening of spring! Gather your observations, data, maps, questions, and experiments in a journal as seasons change at home and across the globe.

Live Cam: It's Pupping Season

Live Cam: It's Pupping Season
Watch live footage from the rocky shore of Maine's Seal Island, where hundreds of seal pups are expected be born through February.

Live Cam: It's Pupping Season

Whooping Cranes Complete Migration
Home sweet home! After a 96-day journey hampered by undependable weather, thecranes have reached their winter home

Track the Seasons to Solve a Mystery Mystery Class
Track seasonal changes in sunlight to find ten secret sites around the world.
sunlight around the globe

The Solstice is December 21st
Are days and nights equal everywhere on earth? Report from your part of the world.

Photo: Carol Cullar

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