Robin Migration News: April 20, 2016
By Rita Welch

Homeward-bound robins have arrived across most of the breeding range and are now nesting.

Before deciduous trees leaf out, robins often build their first nest of spring in evergreens which offer more shelter.

On Territory and Nesting

Reports of FIRST robins are dwindling as more and more robins are on territory and nesting. Robins migrating to the northernmost regions of the breeding range have passed the 60°N latitude mark, according to this sighting on April 17th:

"My students reported hearing robins for a few days, but weren't sure. Today, I was sure. Morning songs from several birds," wrote Sean W. from Palmer, Alaska.

Still Waiting in Shageluk
Our northernmost observation post in Shageluk, Alaska — at 63°N latitude — is still waiting to welcome first robins. Their average sighting date for first arrivals is around April 27th. Watch the maps and predict when robins will reach the end of the migration trail.

Nests and Eggs
A female robin usually lays 3-4 eggs during the first nesting of a season. Second and third nestings sometimes have only 2 eggs. She lays one egg a day until the clutch is complete. Incubation lasts for 12-14 days from the time the last egg is laid. Observers from Virginia and Tennessee reported nesting this past week:

"Mother seen sitting on nest..." wrote Heather from Stanardsville, Virginia.

"Nest with four eggs in my backyard," wrote Karon from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Females spend about 50 minutes of every hour incubating.

Help: Questions about Nests and Eggs

Each year people write to ask if they can move a robin nest. The short answer is no — but why? Ornithologist, Laura Erickson explains and answers other frequently asked questions:

Explore: Robin Eggs

Read about robin eggs. Use the FAQs to create jeopardy-style game cards. Here's an example: Clue: 12-14 days after they are laid. Response: How long does it take for robin eggs to hatch?



Report Your Sightings
Robin Migration: What to Report Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins
What to Report First Seen
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Report | Map | List
Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Robin Nesting Behavior Earthworm migration map
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Report | Map | List
Report | Map | List
Next Update April 27, 2016