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Robin Migration Update: April 10, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
This week's reports of singing robins were all from Canada, where robins are still arriving. See Answers from the Robin Expert, and find out where to get help for robins in trouble as nesting season begins.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Robin nest with 3 babies and 1 egg
Photo: Sandra Bedfore
Don't Peek! Why?
News: What's Happening Now & What to Watch For
What's Happening Now
Migration news and sightings have shifted northward as robins near the finish line. This week's few reports of singing robins are all in Canada, and robins keep coming:

  • At 54 degrees N in Alberta, Apr. 3: Approximately 60 or more Robins were in the field behind my house scurrying on the ground. A few were in the trees. Winter storm warning expecting over a foot of snow...
  • At 53 degrees N in Alberta, April 7: Daily baths by one male in the heated dog bowl used to water the birds
  • At 46 degrees N in New Brunswick, Apr. 8: Saw 10 in the front yard, filling their bellies with worms.
  • At 47 degrees N in New Brunswick, Apr. 9: We had a huge winter storm yesterday (Easter Sunday) that brought us 20cm of snow. It looked more like Christmas than Easter! We can still hear the robins singing today, though.
  • At 59 degrees N in Voznesenka, Alaska, Apr. 9: No robins yet. We have had a record snowfall this winter (about 10-11 feet), so things may run a little late during breakup... All in all, I expect we'll see our first Robin on schedule, probably during the first week of May.

Which Northern Observation Posts are still waiting? Have eager students in Shageluk, Alaska (latitude 62.65 N) seen their first robin yet?

 

 

What to Watch For
In northernmost areas where robins are newly arrived, waves will break up. Where robins are singing, nesting is next. Watch for robins carrying nesting materials, building nests and laying eggs that will hatch 30 days later.

Robin fluffing its feathers after a bath
Photo: Randy Indish

What's Happening?

 
American robin  walking in grass
Photo: Don Severson
Ground Travel 2 Ways
 
Partial Albino American Robin
Photo: Randy Indish
What White Means
 
Wave of four robins on the grass
Photo: Lori Nunke
Not Close for Long!
Explore: What Senses Do Robins Use to Find Worms?
"Yesterday I watched a Robin pull eight worms from my yard. He would move around, stop, dip his head and pull the worm out. My question is, does the Robin hear the worm, or feel the vibration of the worm moving?"

In 1965 a scientist named Frank Heppner reported the results of his experiments to answer this question. See what he concluded, and how he did it:

 

Image of Journey North's Lesson: Which Senses Do Robins Use to Find Worms?
Discover: Answers from the Robin Expert
A big thanks to Laura Erickson for providing her time and expertise in responding to your questions about robins! Now you can look for answers to these questions and more:
  • Could you hatch a robin egg you found?
  • Do robins skate on ice?
  • What Website can I bookmark to find out how to help birds in trouble?

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


Robin expert Laura Erickson
Photo: Marie Nitke
Expert Answers 2012
Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?
These maps show where people have reported robins and earthworms. Patterns emerge as citizen scientists report their observations. Singing robins reveal the temperature patterns of North America as we hear reports of robins singing at higher latitudes and at higher elevations.

Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Earthworm migration map
First See
(map/list)
Waves
(map/list)
Singing
(map/list)
Earthworms
(map/list)

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

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 17, 2012.
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