Signs of Spring Everywhere
Bill Thrune - USFWS

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Signs of Spring Everywhere

Journey North News will be posted on Mondays:
Jan. 29, Feb. 12, 26, Mar. 12, 26, Apr. 9, 23, May 7, 21

Report Your SightingsYour sightings will be incorporated in Mondays' "Signs of Spring" updates.
Report the First:


Frogs Singing



Maple Sap

Red-winged Blackbirds

Barn Swallows

Other Signs
of Spring


Journey North News

  • Signs of Spring: January 29, 2001
    It still looks like winter in the snowy northwoods of Minnesota, but black bear cubs are being born right now in cozy dens. Unlike their mothers, the babies don't hibernate. Find out what goes on in a den when you come along to visit a hibernating bear family with a Journey North staffer and Dr. Lynn Rogers. Listen to bear sounds and see if you can identify what they mean!
  • Signs of Spring: February 12, 2001
    Are YOU ready to track spring's journey north? Thousands of students are watching and waiting for the migrations to begin. We hope you're ready for the adventure! But if you catch only a glimpse of a feather, a fluke or a flipper, can you identify each critter to genus and species? Some Journey North species have look-alikes. Can you distinguish the Journey North species from an impostor? Congratulations to the students who listened and learned from Dr. Roger's bears! Here are answers to Challenge Question #1 and #2.
  • Announcing: Ice-Out Contest for Walden Pond
    Journey North's 7th Annual Ice-Out Contest is now underway! How will this year's ice-out date compare to the records Thoreau kept in the mid-1800s? Read the latest news from Walden Pond. Predict when the ice will melt this spring and place your guess!
  • Signs of Spring Update: February 26, 2001
    Sandhill cranes are starting to land on the Platte River in Nebraska. Why is this such an important stopover? Watch for the history-making Operation Migration cranes in the news this spring to see if they will fly away back home to Wisconsin, all on their own! Read about this exciting migration project with links in this report. You'll find another popular photo study with a CQ, and the SOS Creature Quiz answers you've been waiting for!
  • Signs of Spring Update: March 12, 2001
    "Okalee!" The Red-winged Blackbirds are late! Their arrival in the Lake County Area of Northern Illinois is the latest in 8 years. You may still have some time to practice listening and looking, but that's just the beginning of the fun. Check out our field studies to try, and don't miss this week's new challenge questions.
  • Signs of Spring Update: March 26, 2001
    If you lived on Maui, you'd be watching for whales as signs of spring! That's what students from Maui Adventist School did, and they wrote to tell you what they saw. Why do most baleen whales breed and give birth in warm tropical waters even though they travel back to colder waters when the calves are a few months old? Red-winged Blackbirds are back, and our new maps let you compare this year's migration with LAST year's.
  • Signs of Spring Update: April 9, 2001
    Way back in January, the chorus began: "First a third grade student heard it, then a teacher heard it, then nearly everyone heard it," said Lincoln School students in Petaluma, CA. Now people have heard the chorus in another 37 states and 3 provinces, as today's map shows. What's all the singing about? Learn about the strategy behind the call. Can you name that "peeper" tune? But why isn't life just a song for the frogs?
  • News Flash: Ice-out at Walden Pond!
    April 12 is the official (and latest ever recorded) ice-out date for 2001! Congratulations to two classrooms in New Hampshire and New Jersey for their nearly precise Pond Predictions! Why do you think the average ice-out date has changed since famous naturalist Henry David Thoreau kept records in the mid-1800s? What's your prediction for ice-out at the NEXT observation post?
  • News Flash: Ice-Out at Lake Minnetonka
    April 19 is the official ice-out date for Lake Minnetonka! Congratulations to Mrs. Nunnally's Second Grade Class at Peter Woodbury School in Bedford, NH for their "closest" guess of April 29. Now it's time to enter your predictions for Ice-Out on the Tanana River in Nenana, Alaska!
  • Signs of Spring Update: April 23, 2001
    One sure sign of spring is the appearance of insects, and it's no coincidence that swallows appear soon after. Swallows are returning north, feeding on insects emerging from water. Why are the first individual swallows to return sometimes called "scouts?" Big waves of swallows rush through in spring a week or two before big waves of warblers, even though both groups eat insects. Find out why swallows are first, and ponder three new Challenge Questions!
  • News Flash: Ice-Out on Finland's River Teno
    May 3rd at 2:06 PM was the official breakup time, reports teacher Annikkki Lauerma in Utsjoki, Finland. "What makes the springs always so special here are the light nights; today the sun rose at 3.34 AM and set at 10.49 PM." But the 2001 Ice-Out Contest Continues! The tripod is teetering on the Tanana River in Alaska, and there's still ice at Point Hope and Rankin Inlet. Send your entries FAST...!
  • Signs of Spring Update: May 7, 2001
    The all-time favorite CHARLOTTE'S WEB ends in the springtime, as tiny spiderlings emerge from Charlotte's egg case. Wilbur was surprised and amazed when when they did something he'd never imagined they would do. Enter the world of ballooning baby spiders and wonderful orb weavers like Charlotte in today's report! Find out what aeroplankton is and how to observe it, day or night.
  • News Flash: Ice-out on the Tanana River at Nenana, Alaska!
    May 8 at 1:30 PM marked ice-out 2001 as the tripod fell into the Tanana River in Nenana, Alaska! Journey North's Ice-Out Contest Continues! There's still ice at Point Hope, Alaska and Rankin Inlet in the Hudson Bay. When will the ice go out? Send your entries NOW!
  • FINAL Signs of Spring Update: May 21, 2001
    Barn Swallows, one of the most beloved signs of spring, are well into their nesting cycle in many places. This report and photos let you join the baby barn swallows from eggS to fledging. Today we are experiencing the fastest growth in human numbers ever recorded in history. Check out population clocks ticking away even as you read this, and consider what it means for Earth's diverse and extraordinary web of living things. Remember that we're all a part of it--the REAL world wide web--and we can't live without it!

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