Robin Migration Update: March 5, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Here they come! Our maps show an increase in robin abundance, plus the biggest push north yet this season. This week's slideshow explores how citizen scientists can contribute to scientific research and discovery. Keep reporting!

This Week's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
leaving the bath in Houston in January

Bottom's Up!

Image: T.J. Wallace
Migration News: A Push North

What's Happening Now
Here they come! The average latitude for robin "first" reports for the past week is almost 2 degrees, or 138 miles north from last week—the biggest push north yet this season. Robin "waves" reported also are almost two degrees north from last week. Here's a sample of observers' recent reports:

  • California: "For the first time in 39 years at this address we witnessed a wave of 150 to 200 robins swarming a holly tree by our backyard. It was like an aerial Grand Central Station for two days, and stopped abruptly around 3:30 pm. Mar. 2."
  • Nevada: "After seeing a couple waves of Robins, I learned their various songs from your recordings. Today I heard beautiful singing and realized it was a true song and there it was in the tree high above me!"
  • Idaho: "After persevering through our below-average winter, one brave soul was singing today (March 1.)"

What to Watch For: By mid-March, the robin chorus will spread. The "First Robins Heard Singing" map probably reveals most clearly when and where robins are switching from winter feeding and flocking behaviors to spring migratory restlessness and territoriality—because that's when they sing. Get ready to listen and report!

New Reporting Category! Now you can report sightings of robin nesting behaviors. Our Spring Observation Checklist will help you know what to watch for. Print and post!


Male robin in winter
Image: Laura Erickson
Looking for Spring!
Montana students for Northern Observation Post at work in their classroom
Image:S. Paulson
Waiting for Robins
Spring phenology checklist for robins
Slideshow: Citizen Science

The sightings reported above are just a few that tell us interesting data about the spring 2013 migration. They came from citizen scientists in action. Reporting from their own backyards, anyone and everyone can be a citizen scientist. How can you contribute to scientific research and discovery? Find out in this week's slideshow:

Northern Observation Posts (NOPs): Thanks to citizen scientists, we'll continue to have migration sightings as robins cross the map even in regions where fewer people live. Where are Journey North's 2013 NOPs? Has any NOP seen or heard their first robin?


Cover of booklet
Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?

These maps show where people reported earthworms and robins. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations.What do you notice this week as you compare where robins are singing with first robin sightings?

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 March 12, 2013.