Migration Update: March 30, 2010
Please Report
Your Sightings!

What changes we've seen during the month of March! A robin chorus now sings across the United States. Get ready to watch robins cross the northern reaches of our continent next. Read Answers from the Expert this week, and notice how people's observations lead to questions.

This Week's Report Includes:

Image of the Week

Photo Laura Erickson

What does an expert see?

The Migration: What's Happening Now & What to Watch For

What's Happening Now
Singing robins are revealing the temperature patterns of our continent. With each passing week, robins are singing at higher latitudes and at higher elevations. Robins began to sing this week way up north at latitude 50N in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Farther south, but at higher elevations, people also reported the first singing robins in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado and Utah. It's colder in the mountains the higher you go, so robins and other signs of spring arrive later. Spring moves north at a rate of about 15 miles per day, and climbs mountains at a rate of 100 feet/day, wrote naturalist Edwin Teale. Singing robins are following this pattern!

What to Watch For
Northern Observation Posts:
Keep an eye on the yellow stars on our migration maps; they mark our "Northern Observation Posts." Thanks to volunteers at these sites, we'll continue to have migration sightings as robins cross the map even in regions where fewer people live.


This Week's Featured Map

Map Questions

Explore: Answers from the Robin Expert

Special thanks to Laura Erickson for providing her time and expertise in responding to your questions about robins! Look for answers to questions like these:

  • How did American robins get their name?
  • Do robins return to the same place where they were raised?
  • Why do robins migrate north in the spring? Why don't they just stay in the south?

Teachers: You can use today's Answers from the Expert, along with those from previous years, in these activities suggested in "Learning from Experts".

Laura Erickson
"It's always fun to read the questions here! Thanks for participating in Journey North!" says Laura.

Research Question and Links: Explore!
This Week's Research Question: Other links to explore:

Why do robins hop?

Explore this link to do your research:

Please Report Your Sightings!
The First Robin You

Robins migrating in Waves

The First Robin You
Hear Singing

Your first sighting of Earthworms

Wayne Kruyduba

More Robin Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Robin Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 6, 2010.