Robin Migration Update: January 29, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Welcome to Journey North's 20th season! Join citizen scientists across North America as we observe and track the robin's spring migration. Where are robins now, and what are they doing?

This Week's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
Winter robins eat berries.

Eating Berries

Image: Sarah Mayhew
Migration News: Learning From Citizen Scientists

From Florida to Alaska, over 190 people reported waves of robins during January. Winter weather often gets robins on the move. Each time a cold front moved across the continent, people reported flocks with hundreds and thousands of robins. Many were surprised to see them so early, and didn't realize some are overwintering robins that stay as long as they find food. Your January observations help tell the story:

  • Massachusetts: "We had a flock of robins at our school today (1/22). This surprised many of us. The temperature was in the 20's, with a windchill factor making it even lower. Were they from further north, so this was south to them? Or were they blown here on the wind?" —Grade 5, Charlotte A. Dunning School 
  • Florida: "Too many to count. Literally blanketing our two grand oaks, several smaller oaks, 27 palm trees on the property and also the neighbor's trees. I would estimate 1,000 or more. About three hours later, they were completely gone."
  • Tennessee: "Robins foraging in our neighborhood by the thousands. The sky is peppered for as far as you can see in all directions. I have never seen this in 12 years living here. What's going on?"



Winter robins eat berries.
Photo: Christine Haines
Hungry Robins
Thirsty winter robins in Florida
Photo: Maureen Townsend
Thirsty Robins
Wave of winter robins in tree
Photo: K. DeMusey
Many Robins!
Slideshow: What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?
When winter robins are in our backyards, citizen scientists observe and wonder: When earthworms are not available, what food will robins find? Where will the robins find water? How do they survive freezing temperatures? Explore these questions through facts and photos:
Slideshow title page
Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?

These maps show where people reported robins and earthworms in January:

Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Earthworm migration map
First See
Report Your Sightings! What, Where & How
First robin of spring Waves of robins Singin robin First earthworm of spring
The First Robin You

Robins migrating in Waves

The First Robin You
Hear Singing

Your first sighting of Earthworms

The next robin migration update will be posted February 12, 2013.