Robin Migration Update: April 1, 2014
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Investigate leapfrog migration and see the Robin Expert's answers to your questions! Please report your robins!

Report Includes:

Image of the Week
Robin on March 29th in Mississauga, Ontario.

Ah, Spring!

Photo: Marc Landry
News: Weather Slows Progress

March went out like a lion as we straddle two seasons. Did the decrease in reports reflect the lack of good migration weather? The first week of spring brought just 13 new song reports, with an average of 44.4 latitude.

  • "We all have hungry eyes for these hardy individuals. Hope the bitter cold is gone." Gulliver, MI (March 29)
  • "Very cold this morning, but I heard one brave Robin singing." Grand Rapids, MI (March 30)

Leapfrog Migration
At each latitude, the first birds to arrive and sing are the ones that will stay. Robins coming after these singing robins "jump over" them to migrate farther north. This is what scientists call leapfrog migration. Birds going farther north simply wait until weather conditions (clear skies, southerly winds) seem right to continue. You can tell the robins that are staying from those who are "jumping over" by whether or not they are singing the territorial song.

  • "As I walked my dogs this evening a robin was singing. It sounded wonderful." Ripon, WI (March 29)

What to Watch For:
Notice how male robins act when near each other as they arrive. Also watch for females, who arrive on territory a few days to a week behind the males.

Robin pulls worm from grass
Photo: Julia Mast
Favorite Food
Robin  about to swallow a  mulberry
Photo: Laura Erickson
Deep snow in Gowganda, Alaska, a JN Northern Observation Post, on March 26, 2014
Photo: Gert Trudel
Far North News


Spotlight: Answers from the Expert

Can you tell a migrating robin from a resident by its color or size? Do robins perform mating dances? Ornithologist Laura Erickson replies to these and other Ask the Expert questions you sent!

Laura Erickson, Journey North's Robin Expert
Image: Marie Nitke
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
report | map | list
Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Robin Nesting Behavior Earthworm migration map
report | map | list
report | map | list
report |map | list
Next Update: April 8, 2014