American Robin Migration Update: April 20, 1999
Today's Report Includes:
News from Northern Observation Posts
Robins in Haines Face Snowstorm
Haines, Alaska (59.24N -135.43W) Pam Randles reports the first robins are back, and "We are now getting some of the other songbirds. I can hear them in the trees. I don't recognize each of them, but I know they are migrants because they are not here the rest of the year. I saw an Oregon junco and a song sparrow. Swans and geese have begun to return. We are starting to see pussy willows and our tulips have emerged, at least some have. The lady next door has crocuses blooming and buds are on the lilacs. Our days are now 14 hours long, compared to 8 hours in February. And we have had our first few tourists. The weather has been very moody. This week we had a couple of days of rain and a couple of beautiful warm, sunny days and one day of a bad snowstorm that closed the highway. Many of us have spring fever and are restless to get outdoors.
Farther North in Sterling, AK
Sterling, Alaska (60.52N -150.80W) Kelly and Liz in Ms. Hepner's class wrote: "Here's our list of signs of spring in Sterling, Alaska:
From the FAR North
Anchorage, Alaska (61.22N -149.90W) On April 16, 1999, Mike Sterling wrote, "The robins haven't arrived in Anchorage--that's for sure! There are signs of spring, however: the geese have arrived! Overnight, the geese had descended on their favorite feeding grounds near a sod farm. Another sign of spring is the increasing daylight. Schoolchildren up here suffer from too much of the good stuff as the days lengthen into the night. Bedtimes are disrupted sleep is lost, and teachers complain about the zombies they find sitting behind desks in the morning... We've got our eyes peeled on the robin front!"
Cleaning Up after Winter Moose
Kenai, AK, near Soldatna, Alaska (60.46N -151.20W) On April 15, 1999, Bill Vedders' third grade class at Mt. View Elementary listed the things happening right now up there:
Challenge Question #15
Robins Starting to Nest in the South
In many places, robins are already incubating eggs. Have any hatched yet in the South? When you see a robin carrying mud or sticks, follow it and see if you can figure out where it's nesting. But don't bother the birds while they are caring for their eggs or young!
Here's a fun activity to try. First, in your notebook or on a sheet of paper, make five columns with these headings:
Next, learn the five kinds of robin calls:
Now go outside near a robin territory and listen for 15 minutes. Each time you hear a robin make one of these sounds, mark it in the appropriate column. Compare results with other students who listened to different robins at different times of day. And let us know your results with:
Challenge Question #16
"How much do robin songs and calls vary between individuals and at different times of day?"
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question
Answer only one Challenge Question in each e-mail.
The next Robin Migration Update will be posted Tuesday, May 4, 1999.
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