Northern Observation Posts
Make Predictions about First Robins at Northernmost Regions


Some robins migrate to North America's far north to breed. Because fewer people live in the more northern regions, we have volunteers at official "Northern Observation Posts" (NOPs) that watch and report robin's arrival.

When will NOP observers in the robin's northernmost breeding territories report seeing and hearing their first robins this spring?

Predict when robins will arrive and sing.
Use the NOP Log to record your predictions about when reporters at Journey North's Northern Observation Posts will (1) see the FIRST robins and (2) hear the first robin SONG.

Revisit and revise predictions.
As you follow migration news, check the red NOP stars on the migration maps that feature the Northern Observation Posts. You may want to revise predictions as the season unfolds.

Robin Migration Maps


Robin Migration Maps

NOP Prediction Log


Discussion Questions

  • How did your predictions compare with the actual dates of first robin sightings and songs at the NOPs?
  • What factors might have influenced the actual dates?
  • Did you notice any pattern in the time span between the first arrivals and first songs? If so, how would you explain it?


Digging Deeper: Maps and Links to Explore

Temperatures in Canada

Snow and Ice Cover

Last Years'
Migration Data

Robin Migration Maps

Robin Migration Maps

First Seen

First Heard Singing

What are the temperatures at the Northern Observation Posts today? As you track these over the next few weeks, you may want to revise your predictions.

As you look at these current snow-cover maps, ask:
"Are robins likely to return here or begin singing yet? Why or why not?"

When did robins arrive at the NOPs last year? When did they start to sing? Do you think they will follow the same pattern this year? Why or why not? 

Do robins follow temperature?

One hypothesis says that robins migrate along with average temperatures of 36°F. Before making your predictions, look at temperatures in the northern regions of North America. The map of global temperature shows average monthly temperatures throughout the year. Looking at it closely can help you make more accurate predictions about the arrival of robins at the Northern Observation Posts.

Robin Migration Maps

Global Temperatures