North News: Spring
Feb. 3, 17, Mar 3, 10*, 17, 24*, 31,
Apr. 7*, 14, 21*, 28, May
5, 12* (*
Migration Data Only)
May 12, 2009
Anchorage, AK reporters have seen their first robins! It seems
like long ago that the first robins were sighted in warmer
climates, but now we can celebrate the robin has arrived home
in Anchorage! Another new sighting on the northern shore of
Lake Superior brings the happy exclamation, “Finally!!!”
Thanks to all the reporters this spring. Join us again next
Photos Wayne Kryduba
Florida to Alaska and California to Canada, robins are home.
They're hunkering down to the serious business of making new
little robins. See what's in a day's work for those parents
in this week's robin cam and lessons, and find out how "disposable
diapers" help keep the nest clean. Keep kitty indoors
to protect baby birds, and thanks to all who reported their
robins to help track the 2009 journey north!
Sightings are dwindling, but nearly every report of a new
sighting or song in the past week was from Canada or Alaska.
Robins reached Shageluk, and we have an Early Bird Contest
winner! Meanwhile, robins back on territory are on to their
next big task: raising a new generation. Enjoy a front-row
seat for that fascinating process with our slide show and
Many first robins seen and first song reports are coming out
of northern Canada and Alaska this week. Our Northern Observation
Posts report ice and snow slowly melting in many areas. Nests
are becoming plentiful in the southern part of the robin range
now. What can you learn from stopping to observe a robin this
spring? You might be amazed when you look at out gallery of
images taken in just 15 minutes one day in Vermont.
You reported fewer sightings in the lower 48 states, but a
big push into Canada and Alaska. Wherever robins already reached
home, they are busy with the next stage in their life cycle:
nest building. This week your observations led to a handy
phenology checklist, nest-building blueprints for YOU to try,
and the story of one man's experiments to solve the mystery
of how robins find worms. Dig in! Photo
Warmer weather than normal seems to have pushed the robin
migration into SE Canada this past week. The habitat is mostly
snow covered. First robin sighters are reporting the birds
eating apples, crabapples and other berries that have hung
on through the winter. When will the first worms appear? And
a sighter reported robins imitating parts of cardinal songs.
Explore how they are similar and different.
Despite wintry weather, robins have pushed into Canada. They
are singing in more places and we ask: What does a robin look
for in choosing his territory? A slide show, lesson and video
clip help with the answer. Students in Alaska are helping
scientists study climate change. See their photo slide show.
Enter our Early Bird Contest for a chance to win a Journey
Learn something new about robin behavior as you observe “tail
wagging.” When does the male robin use this behavior,
and why? Robins are starting to sing on territory as the temperatures
across the continent warm up this March. Are you listening
and watching for them in your own home town? Stay alert, and
report in the news when you first see, or hear robins!
Cold weather may have kept robins from a big push northward,
but our maps show an increase in robin abundance. A few places
in Canada report the territorial song! Identify our Northern
Observation Posts and start tracking temperatures to help
predict when robins will reach the end of the trail. They
migrate northward in the spring — but some robins migrate
“upward” too. What's the concern with the timing?
Dig into our "Worm Hunt" activity and keep watching
and reporting robins!
Snowmelt and rainwater soften the hard winter earth for the
earthworms to emerge. After a diet of berries during the cold
winter weather, this is good news for hungry robins. Robins
are singing in a few spots, even though temps are freezing!
Keep your eyes open and your ears tuned so you can report
robin activity in your area. Photo
robins begin moving northward, surprised
and delighted observers report
seeing more WAVES of hungry robins in southern regions and
more FIRST robins in the north. Our new journal pages and
recent sightings guide you to glean facts about their habitat
choices. With a close look at this week's
splashy photo study and backyard lesson, you'll be ready for
the journal question: How do migrating robins use habitat?
Photo Tom Grey
Alaska to Florida and California to British Columbia, Journey
North citizen scientists have reported robins feeding, flocking,
and flying. A few are already singing! Surprised? Learn why
we make three different maps to track their travels. Play
"Name That Tune" to be sure when your robin arrives.
Dig into "Robin-speak" to translate their calls.
With these basics, you will be ready to track robins all the
Where are the robins spending
this 2009 winter? Let's find out before the spring migration
begins! We'd like to know if you have robins over-wintering
in your town. Go outside and look for robins. Ask everybody
you know — near or far — to help look for robins.
Then report your sightings on our real-time maps by February
aboard and thank you for helping us get the 2009 Winter
Robin Round-up underway!