Robin Migration Update: May 7, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
A resounding thanks to all who reported their robins and helped us track the robins' journey north! Robins are late at the end of the trail, but now nesting across most of their breeding range.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Animation of egg-to-fledglings in a robin nest
Photos: L. Birnbaum
From Egg to Fledgling
News: Baby Robins Coming
What's Happening Now
It's time to celebrate how far the robins have come as we've tracked their migration just over three months! Robins have:

  • expanded across the North American continent up to Alaska.
  • changed their behavior from social flocking to territorial nesting.
  • changed their daily patterns of movement from nomadic winter wandering to summer nesting in a localized territory, one-half acre to a few acres in size.
  • changed their diet from leftover fruit to the bountiful live worms and insects of North America's spring and summer.
Well done, feathered friends! What's next?

Still Waiting at the End of the Trail
NO Robins yet in Shageluk, Alaska, the farthest north of our NOPs! From teacher Joyanne Hamilton at Innoko River School in Shageluk comes this surprising message:

"In our many years of documenting migratory bird data, this spring will set a record for the latest Robin sighting. On average, we see Robins around April 27. Our temps for the past two weeks range from 10F for a low, 45F for a high. Alaska is still, for the most part, locked in ice and snow. We'll let you know when we see our Gonondadoys!"

Watch For This:

  • Our news flash when Gonondadoys reach the end of the trail!
  • A summer of fantastic robin-watching: Look for the behaviors listed below. Keep a Field Notes Journal of your observations: Record date, time of day and gender of each bird you're observing. List as many details as you can. Let this journal be the start a personal robin Field Notes book that you add to year after year. You will be amazed how many discoveries come from growing into a good observer!
Singing Bathing
Fighting Preening
Hunting for Worms Nest Building
Eating Other Food items (fruits, berries...) Incubating
Chasing Predators Feeding Babies
Sleeping "Freezing" when a hawk flies over

We hope you enjoy your backyard birds this spring and summer as the next generation of robins gets launched!
Mother robin incubating her eggs
Photo: James Chandler
Busy Times
Robin nest with fecal sac
Photo: Sandra Bedford
Got Diapers?
Hungry  robin nestlings
Photo: Wayne Kryduba
Hard Work for Parents!
Baby robin on the verge of fledging
Photo: Vickie King
Why Leave Now?

Summer School: What Must Fledglings Learn?
Baby robins are ready to leave the nest when they are about 13 days old. They have a lot to learn. Summer is school time for fledglings! Explore with our slideshow:

Essential Question:
What do fledglings need to learn?

Cover of Booklet

The Migration: Maps
Congratulations! For almost 4 months you have watched these ever-changing maps based on what you and other citizen scientists report. The maps provide a snapshot in time for today. How would you sum up the season? What factors may have influenced the pace of the 2013 spring migration from one week to the next?
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
Expect a news flash when robins reach the end of the trail, but this is the FINAL Robin migration update for spring 2013. Please join us again next spring!