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)
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.