February to June, 2005
the American Robin Migration Study
The return of the robin is perhaps the most familiar sign of spring in North America's northern regions. Students can track robin migration from the southern states all the way to the Arctic—where robins don't arrive until May!
This study begins with a winter robin round-up, a mid-winter census conducted by students in backyards across North America. Students use the results to make a map showing where robins are found before their migration begins. As migration reports arrive, usually in March, students can track the migration to their own backyards. When their own robin reaches the end of its migration, the bird will announce its arrival by singing its territorial song. Students will identify songs and calls, analyze banding data, explore nest building, and discover all kinds of surprising things about this cheery harbinger of spring. Participating in Journey North's robin study is an exciting eye-opener for northern students who will never again simply say that robins go "down south" for the winter.
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