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Journey North News: Spring 2009

Posted Tuesdays:  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 spring!
Photos Wayne Kryduba
May 5, 2009
From 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!
April 28, 2009
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 lessons.
April 21, 2009
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.
April 14, 2009
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 Tom Grey
April 7, 2009
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.
March 31, 2009
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 North t-shirt!

Photos Laura Erickson
March 24, 2009
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!
March 17, 2009
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!
March 10, 2009
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 Charles Russell
March 3, 2009
As 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
February 17, 2009
From 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 way home!

February 3, 2009
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 17.
Welcome aboard and thank you for helping us get the 2009 Winter Robin Round-up underway!

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