Robin Migration Update: April 2, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Robins moved further north this week, singing to claim their territories. See the Expert's answers to your robin questions!

This Week's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
Robin about to pull a worm

Tugging a Worm

Image: Tom Ernst
News: Moving North, Claiming Territory

What's Happening Now

"Everywhere you look there are robins!" exclaimed a Wisconsin observer. Half of this week's 104 "First Seen" reports came from latitudes 45º or above, with 22 from Canada. Average latitude for song reports was 44.44, compared with last week's 41.87. Two more Canadian provinces, Alberta and British Columbia, reported first songs. Wave reports are down from last week as winter flocks continue breaking up and males set up territories.

  • Pennsylvania: "Just heard some Robin song! Hooray! I don't care if we have snow on the ground, Spring is HERE."
  • British Columbia, Canada: "Migrant robins are starting to arrive in the Cowichan Valley! Have been watching and waiting for some time but nothing until March 26th. Today a southerly air flow has started along the west coast. I expect to see more migratory birds arrive over the next few days."
  • Michigan: "I heard my first robin of the spring—a welcome chorus after a snowier winter. It's about two weeks later than the last three years."

What to Watch For:

How many of our Northern Observation Posts are still awaiting their first robin as April begins? Singing robins reveal the temperature patterns of our continent.

Vermont: "First robin March 27! I saw two more on a 1-hour walk where they haven't been before so today seems to be their first day at our elevation. We still have snow on the ground, but it's all gone at lower elevations so robins may have already been present there. This is late for a first sighting. We're watching the maps for reports of robins singing at higher latitudes and higher elevations."

Robin takes a shower at a fountain.
Image: Laurie Walker
April Shower
A wave of newly arrived robins
Image: Matthew Steere
Wave Arrives
Male robin in snowy spring
What's to Eat?
Robin eating at a suet feeder: unusual!
Image: Patty Powell
Robins at Feeders?
Robin Expert: Answers to Your Questions

Do you know the answers to the questions below? If not, you'll find them when you check Laura's responses to this year's Ask the Expert questions!

  • Why do some robins eat at birdfeeders?
  • Can I "plant" earthworms to help robins?
  • What are some dangers baby birds face?


Laura Erickson, Journey North's Robin Expert
Image: Marie Nitke
Maps and Journal: Where Are Robins Now?

These maps show where people reported earthworms and robins. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations. Journal: What do you notice this week as you compare where robins are singing now with where they were singing a year ago?

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

Next update: April 9, 2013.