Robin Migration Update: April 23, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Many robins are still traveling to the places they will nest, slowed by wintry weather again this week. The breeding cycle is underway in places where robins are on territory. Explore the nesting cycle!

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Robin with mud in her beak
Photo: Wayne Kryduba
Got Mud?
News: Still Migrating Northward
What's Happening Now
Wintry weather in the mid continent stalled many robins eager to push further north. In Minneapolis, Minn., heavy snow closed schools and halted the robin migration, causing hundreds of thousands of robins to bunch up to wait it out. This unusual spring continues to surprise:

"Saw 400-500 robins at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in the Oak Savannah, feeding on buckthorn in a snowstorm. Never saw that many here before." Theres, Fergus Falls, Minnesota (April 18)

"West of Black River Falls, saw a huge wave of robins running on over 20 miles, early morning. Over to the Mississippi River, in wet and flooded fields, yards, everywhere! I think many more than 1000. Most were gone when I returned at 5:00 p.m. through that area." Georgia, Black River Falls, WI , (April 17)

Meanwhile, earthworm reports continue to come in, even where there's snow! The food chain is coming back just in time with reports of robins nesting in 11 states and one province.

"Three Robins in my yard picking up little pieces of straw, probably for their nest." Scott, West Plains, Missouri (April 21)

"Robins have been busy building nests now for about a week. Still chilly here but very spring-like." Shellie, Midvale, Idaho (April 17)

What to Watch For

  • Some Northern Observation Posts are still waiting.
  • Arriving males sing the territorial song to warn other males away and to invite females to join them.
  • Nesting activity. Please Report!
weather map
What's Coming?
Wave of robins in April snowstorm, Minnesota
Photo: Kari Madrinich
Robin Pile-up
Many robins on roof of a car, drinking from the ice crystals
Photo: Laurie Schneider
A Rare Sight
Robin with nesting materials in beak
Photo: Wayne Kryduba
Building a Nursery

Explore: Go Lay an Egg!
Migration, territory, courtship, nest building, egg laying, incubation, and care of the young—all are parts of the breeding cycle. These events happen so robins can pass their genes on to new generations. That's what robins are doing now!

Explore the nesting cycle. Who's doing all the work? Discover and sort the chores of robin males and females, then decide which you'd rather be.

Image of Chore Chart for Raising Robins

The Migration: Maps
These maps show where people reported earthworms, robins and robin nesting behaviors. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations. What do you notice about earthworm sightings compared to where robins are singing and nesting?
Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Map showing robin nesting behaviors Map showing where  robin nesting behaviors observed
First See
Nesting Behaviors
Report Your Sightings! What, Where & How
First robin of spring
Singin robin
First earthworm of spring
Robin gathers grass for nest
The First Robin You
The First Robin You
Hear Singing
Your first sighting of Earthworms
Robins doing
Nesting Behaviors
Annual Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts
Please take a few minutes to complete our Annual Evaluation. With your help, we can document Journey North's reach, impact and value. Thank you!

annual evaluation
Next update April 30, 2013