Robin Migration News: February 10, 2016
By Rita Welch

Over 157,000 robins have been reported to Journey North since January 1st! From Florida to Alaska and coast to coast, in all kinds of weather, people watched robins flying and roosting in flocks, feasting on berries, and drinking from streams, puddles, and bird baths. What foods are your wintering robins eating? Where are they finding water?


Robin in Winter
Are robins feasting in berry-laden trees where you live?

Finding Food
Robins are winter wanderers that move in response to dwindling food supplies and harsh weather. If snow is still blanketing the ground where you live, be sure to look up. Robins may be flocking to trees with winter berries, such as bittersweet, hackberry, hawthorn, red cedar, crabapple, and highbush cranberry. Imagine how many berries were eaten by the 157,000 robins reported so far this year!

In February, the top five places reporting sightings were Pennslyvania (44), Illinois (40), Texas, (37), North Carolina (25), and Florida (19). Observers noted the wintering behaviors they were seeing:

"Came to a chokeberry bush and ate all the berries and then flew off.," reported Margaret from Illinois.

Robin in Winter
"Fifty robins feeding in holly trees and drinking from my birdbath," reports Robert from Pennslyvania.

Flocking to Water
Robins are always eager for a fresh drink of water from ponds, lakes, streams, or puddles. Don't be surprised if you see a mob of thirsty robins huddled together at your bird baths. In winter, robins are sociable and don't mind being close to other birds when they have no territories to defend or babies to feed.

Water is not only important for robins to drink, it is essential for keeping them warm. Dirty feathers lose insulation properties. Watching a bird take a cold bath may make you shiver, but don't worry. Even in winter, robins must bathe. A clean robin is a warm robin.

Report and Share
Thank you for reporting your sightings to our maps to document where robins are present. If you take a photo, include it in your report and share it with our Twitter followers, using #JNshare16.

Explore: Where are robins? What are they doing?
Observe with the eyes of a scientist. Search the maps for data, research and gather information from various sources. Share your discoveries on Twitter at #JNshare16.  


Report Your Sightings
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Next Update February 17, 2016