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Robin Migration Update: March 18, 2014
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Observers reported more FIRST sightings than WAVES for the first time. With robins returning, we salute another sign of spring: the lowly earthworm.

Report Includes:

Image of the Week
Robin with worm just pulled from the ground

Signs of Spring

Photo: R. Bushby
News: Slow and Steady Progress

Counts of single robins increased significantly this week, and robin FIRST sightings were more than double the sightings of WAVE reports at last! It's a welcome sign of spring in a week when Mother Nature brought yet another blast of winter snow and cold to many areas.

Average Latitude for Robin FIRST Reports
This week
42.120 N
Last week
41.936 N
2 weeks ago
41.708 N

How Fast? How Far?
"The robins are all gone now," reported Maria in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 14. In mid February to early March, robins to the south start moving north, as our maps indicate.

Some robins may occasionally cover 100 or 200 miles in a day. Most robinsjust make rapid flights by day, heading north, while looking carefully below for fruit trees or thawed ground where they may find worms. They take many breaks for food, even during the peak of migration.

“What we know about robin movements is based on watching large masses of them, not individuals," explains ornithologist Laura Erickson, adding that it would be splendid to track some individuals with satellite transmitters. "But there are so many robins, and they wander so much during autumn, winter and spring, that few researchers invest the time and technology to color band robins to keep track of individuals."

With all the things we still can learn about robins, we do know this for sure:

  • "Heard Robin singing outside of my door. Spring is on its way!" Lorna in Calgary, AB, Canada (March 12, 2014)

 

Robin perched on snowy log
Photo: Wido Hoville
Coping With Weather
 
Male robin
Photo: Lisa Barker
Looking for Spring
 
Robin about to pull a worm
Photo: Tom Ernst
What's to Eat?
Slideshow: Earthworms and Robins Return

As we transition from winter to spring, how closely connected are the arrival of robins and the emerging of earthworms?

 

Cover of slideshow: Welcome Spring! Earthwroms and Robins Return
Maps: Report Your Sightings
Robin Migration: What to Report Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins
What to Report First Seen
report | map | list
Waves
report | map | list
Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Robin Nesting Behavior Earthworm migration map
Singing
report | map | list
Nesting
report | map | list
Earthworms
report |map | list
Next Update: March 25, 2014

 

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