Update: March 22, 2011
robins pushed into Canada this week, eagerly awaited at their summer
homes. Observers report more robins exhibiting spring-like behaviors.
For example, it's worm hunting season and people watch with
wonder: How do robins
find earthworms? What senses do they use?
Week's Report Includes:
of the Week
look and listen as we celebrate the arrival of spring! You
can discover a lot by observing. Could you discover how
this robin found that worm? More
Happening Now & What to Watch For
been hearing them for days, but now my students and I have had sightings
the weekend. Welcome
a 5th grade teacher from Ironwood, MI.
birds, the observers and now the calendar say spring is here. This
week robins pushed into Canada. Of 82 "first" sightings reported
the past week, one-fourth were north of the U.S. border:
outside with my camera and found a Male Robin skating on our
frozen swamp! Not sure why he was doing it, but it sure
fun to watch! It's so nice to know that this long winter is blowing
Yet, our American
robin expert is in Duluth, MN, impatiently waiting for the 36-degree
isotherm and major robin movements to
reach her. ”I’m
so hungry to hear a robin singing!” said Laura Erickson.
It's a different story in other parts of the country. Click into
the sightings reports to see for yourself what's happening now.
to Watch For
Female robins: Females arrive after the
males, by days or even weeks. Click on the photo and learn
how to tell them apart. Watch for the first females
to appear in your backyard.
territories: See the Robin
Checklist for Spring Observations so you know what to
male robin in our barren cottonwood tree was singing a song
to mark his territory. Then, we were able
to observe two male robins in our front yard battling for quite
a while, and red breast feathers went flying through the air!"
2 close on the ground, but flying at each other. Squabbling.
Robins observed where grass shows through
melted snow, hopping
then looking, then pecking at (bugs/worms) grabbing whatever
it caught." Sheboygan, WI
This! Build your birdwatching skills as you take time to observe,
and write about your robins this wonderful spring.
Which is Male?
Which is Female?
for Spring Robin Observations
Senses Do Robins Use to Find Worms?
of robins are out scouring the yard and woods for worms! There
will be 15-20 in one spot just working the ground. You can actually
the dust flying when they flip up leaves! Loving spring!" cheered
an observer in Roanoke, VA, this week. But why
did the robins think worms were there?
ornithologist named Dr. Frank Heppner wanted to know how robins located
earthworms. He set up experiments, knowing he would need to investigate
all the robin's senses. Before reading about his experiments, take
a peek at the materials Dr. Heppner used and think about how he used
each item to investigate robin senses.
could you test?
the robin looking, listening, feeling, smelling — or tasting?
Ahead: A Challenge from Alaska
in: A message to you from Ms. Hamilton's class at Innoko River School
in Shageluk, Alaska. In next week's
report you'll hear more about
these students and all the other yellow stars on our map (Northern
Observation Posts), who are waiting for robins at the end of the
migration trail. For
JOURNEY NORTH INVESTIGATORS!
We're just cleaning up from a wonderful Iditarod Sled Dog Race! They journeyed
the southern route this time so they came through our village. The temps were
warm, in the 20s with clear, sunny skies but we are still locked in ice and snow.
SPRING BIRDS yet but we expect them ANY day!
first spring migratory bird sightings are Bald Eagles and/or Snow Buntings.
We've had Bald Eagles as early as March 3, 2004 and Snow Buntings as
early as March 21 —which leads us to a challenge
question and we hope to hear from YOU!" Ms. Hamilton's
Question and Links: Investigate!
Next Robin Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 29, 2011.