Robin Migration Update: February 28, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Late winter storm systems slowed migration this week, but spring is near. March is peak migration month: It's time to print out your spring robin observation checklist and get questions ready for Ask the Expert. This week's photos invite you to observe and wonder!

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
American robin is calling.
Photo: Tom Ernst
Observe and Wonder!
News: What's Happening Now & What to Watch For

What's Happening Now
March, the month of peak robin migration, is just around the corner. The mild winter has allowed big flocks to stick around as long as they find food. But unsettled weather recently rolled across the continent. Robins are winter wanderers that move in response to dwindling food supplies and harsh weather. How will they respond to this week's storms as, in some areas, March comes in like a lion? Your sightings will help tell the story, so please watch and report!
Here's a sample of observers' reports this week:

Nova Scotia, Canada, Feb. 26: Earliest we have seen a robin ever.

Vermont, Feb. 20: A flock of about 40 robins just flew through my backyard and has congregated under a big white pine, where they're poking around in the exposed brown grass for whatever they can find to eat.

Florida, Feb. 22: All winter the robins have been in the berry trees feeding in large groups. After the very windy storm front on Feb. 20, and 21, all the robins have gone.

Ohio, Feb. 15: We saw about 8 robins while waiting for the school bus at 8:20am. They were hopping on the grass looking for worms.

What to Watch For
We depend on citizen scientists like you to help everyone know what's happening with the 2012 robin migration! This checklist will guide you. Share it with your family, friends, and neighbors near and far. Ask everyone to observe, wonder, and report!

Male and female robin squabbling at a birdbath
Photo: Christine Haines
What's Happening?
Robin and Cedar Waxwing vie for berries.
Photo: Christine Haines
Competing for Food
Spring phenology checklist for robins
For Spring Robin Observations
Observe and Wonder: Ask the Expert

Explore the life of a robin through images in this photo gallery. As you look, what do you wonder? Will you know if your first robin is a male or female? How can you tell when a robin is building a nest? Or when mother robin is sitting on her eggs? Challenge yourself to ask at least two questions about each photo. Our robin expert, Laura Erickson eagerly awaits your questions.

Ask the Expert
Special thanks to Laura Erickson for sharing her time and expertise again this year to answer your questions about robins! Starting Friday, March 2, you will have two weeks to prepare and submit your questions to Laura. She always has the answers!

Ask the Expert Will be Open
March 2 - March 16, 2012.

Photo gallery of robins to spark curiosity
Laura Erickson, Journey North's robin expert
Photo: Marie Nitke
Laura Erickson

Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?
These maps show where people have reported robins and earthworms. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations. How would you use these words to describe what's happening? abundance, distribution, spread, advance
Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Earthworm migration map
First See

Report Your Sightings! What, Where & How
First robin of spring Waves of robins Singin robin First earthworm of spring
The First Robin You

Robins migrating in Waves

The First Robin You
Hear Singing

Your first sighting of Earthworms

The next Robin migration update will be posted on March 6, 2012.