March is the month of peak robin migration. While our lion-like winter has slowed progress, the map shows more WAVES of robins (groups of 3 to hundreds), and a few more FIRST robins in the north. Robins are distributed across a large part of their range; next we'll see the abundance of robins shift dramatically as spring migration begins. Winter behavior still dominates: flocking, feeding, and flying. But singing to defend a territory? Not quite yet.
Wave or Song?
Robins are getting noisier as daylight increases and hormone levels rise: "Lots of singing and eating this morning. It sounds like Spring!" exclaims one observer.
Robins get more and more vocal throughout migration season. If you're hearing a lot of sounds at once that include the true song and dawn song but are mostly peeks and tuts, you are still hearing the last robins of winter and not the first robin of spring. How will you know whether to report WAVE or SINGING? Any time you see or hear three or more robins together, please report in the wave category.
First Robin Singing?
Certainly you may hear little snippets of the true song as robins start getting revved up for spring. However, mostly it'll be peek-and-tut and other vocalizations or alarm calls as the restlessness increases with breeding season coming. Males when in full song are in a place they are claiming as their own.
Robins, when in a flock, cannot be too territorial or they'll start to fight. No single robin has the power to chase away all those other robins who are there to find food and water.
to Watch For
Share this helpful checklist with your family, friends,
and neighbors. Ask everyone to observe and report!