|Robin Migration Update: March 13, 2012||
| Robins are returning, and citizen scientists are reporting another sign of spring:
only a few
timing of their emergence makes earthworms the unsung heroes of robin
migration. This week's slideshow explores the robin-worm connection.
This Week's Update Includes:
|Image of the Week|
|A Wormy Connection|
|News: What's Happening Now & What to Watch For|
Winter is giving way to spring as last week's storms are being replaced by warming temperatures. Reports of waves of robins have diminished and reports of first robin sightings and first songs have increased. No robins, in waves or singles, were reported at latitude 46° North or above. So, while robin distribution still doesn't show a big push northward, robin abundance has increased. Dots are filling in more solidly across the map of the continent.
Your reports tell us that robins are switching from berries to worms where worms are available, but robins in the north are still eating berries because of the snow cover.
The happy sounds of the long-awaited robin songs were prevalent along the 40-43 degrees North latitude, with a few song reports at 45° but no singing at or above 46° latitude.
The robin season of robin song is just beginning. Get ready so you'll know when you hear your robin's song!
to Watch For
As the snow melts and the sun warms the soil, watch how—and where—robins find earthworms. Also notice what the robins do first after they arrive back on their territory in spring.
During fine weather, male robins spend their time singing, feeding, and investigating their territories. They may skirmish with other males. During cold or very wet weather, the males grow more silent. They concentrate on feeding and taking shelter in thick conifer branches so they can survive. Look and listen carefully. Can you see and hear these differences yourself?
|Slideshow: Earthworms and Robins Return|
|The arrival of the first robins is a welcome sign
of spring and is often closely tied to the appearance of the first
earthworms. What are citizen scientists reporting now?
How closely are the arrival of robins and the emerging of earthworms connected? Find out in this week's slideshow:
|Welcome Spring! Earthworms
and Robins Return
Ask the Expert Closes March 16.
Send questions now!
|Waiting for Robins: Early Bird Contest|
| In the western interior of Alaska, students at Innoko River School in snowy Shageluk are eagerly watching Journey North's maps, making predictions for when their first robin will arrive. You can make predictions too. We call it the Early Bird Contest! When will the early bird reach the end of the trail?
Photo: Joyanne Hamilton
|Research Question: Worms: What's Wonderful?|
|"After an overnight rain, my driveway was covered by half-drowned earthworms," wrote an Indiana observer on March 8. Do you wonder why worms come out after it rains? We hope you'll discover at least three wonderful things about earthworms as you search for the answer in our FAQ!|
|Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?|
| These maps show where people have reported robins and earthworms. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations. Journal page: What do you notice this week as you compare the week's average-temperature map with sightings of earthworms?
|The next Robin migration update will be posted on March 20, 2012.|