Robin Migration Update: March 27, 2012
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Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
What changes we've seen during the month of March! A robin chorus now sings across the United States and from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia in Canada. The rush for real estate is on: Find out if your neighborhood has what a robin seeks in a topnotch territory.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
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News: What's Happening Now & What to Watch For
What's Happening Now
Spring appears to be on "fast forward" this year. Robins pushed north into Canada as an early heat wave continued. This week robins sang from Saskatchewan to New Brunswick. A college student in Saskatchewan (50.28N, -107.80W) wrote on March 25: "I'm minding my own business and just couldn't ignore this Robin singing while perched on a tall tree. I think he's trying to tell us that Spring has arrived!" Females are arriving in other places further south.

  • Alberta, March 23: Half a dozen robins were seen standing in a light covering of snow on grass which has yet to change from its winter brown colour.
  • Nova Scotia, March 23: Five Robins merrily seeking worms and hopping along from yard to yard. The temperature was 25 degrees Celsius.
  • New York, March 21: The female robins are here. I just saw a male and female robin foraging in my yard together. Males do not tolerate each other anymore. Singing is reaching full intensity.
What to Watch For

Signs of nesting:
Where females have begun to arrive, nesting is next:

  • Ohio, March 23: Saw a female robin with grass in her beak. Male and female were starting to build a nest on our downspout, the same place as last year.

So, if you see a flying ball of litter, it may be a robin flying with nesting materials in its beak! Also watch for a female robin with muddy feathers. These are signs that robins have begun to build their nest and plan to raise a family in your neighborhood. The Robin Checklist for Spring Observations lists what to watch for as this exciting season unfolds.

Listen, Too! If you've seen your first robins, be sure to keep listening for the robin's territorial song so you can report it for the map. The best time to hear this song is around sunrise and sunset.

Male and female robin, side-by-side
Photo: Elizabeth Howard
Male, Female: Which?
Male robin
Photo: Geri DeBoer
Name the Gender
Robin perched, with his beak open
Photo: Laura Erickson
Open for Business!
Robin with a mouthful of nesting material
Photo: Wayne Kryduba
Robin on a Mission!
Slideshow: Will a Robin Choose Your Neighborhood?
Forget the worm; the early bird gets the best territory. A male robin wants the best possible territory for his mate and babies. What important robin activities happen in a territory? What does a robin look for when choosing a territory in spring? How will you know if a robin has claimed your backyard or schoolyard for its territory?

Wonder, read and learn:


Cover of slideshow: Will a Robin Chooe Your Backyard?
Research: What Do Robins Notice?
What are at least five things that a robin looks for as it flies above in search of a good territory?

Latest Maps & Journal: Where Are Robins Now?
These maps show where people have reported robins and earthworms. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations. Journal: What do you notice this week as you compare where robins are singing today with a year ago? Why?
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 April 3, 2012.