Robins Reach North Pole!

Robin Migration Update, May 4, 1995

Robins Reach North Pole!

A report arrived this week saying that robins were sighted at North Pole. (North Pole, Alaska, that is!) The robin migration has now spread almost entirely across the robins' range.

Remember that although the northernmost robins are arriving at a later date than did their southern cousins, they will still have plenty of time to attend their parental duties. The days now last for about 16 hours in North Pole, for example, and soon it will hardly be night there at all. This means that robins in the arctic region have more time than your local robins have to collect worms and do all the other things robins do with their days.(See activity below.)

Thanks to Jamie and Terry Mills of Vancouver, British Columbia for calling on their Canadian friends and collecting the following reports from Canada.

Robin Sightings Reported:

Date Location March 15 Vanderhoof, British Columbia April 16 Dawson Creek, British Columbia April 20 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan April 23 Fort St.John, British Columbia April 23 Fort McMurray, Alberta April 29 North Pole, Alaska


1) Why do you think robins were sighted as far north as Vanderhoof, B.C. (54 N) at roughly the same time as they reached Rochester, New York ( 43 N), Montpelier, Vermont (44 N) and Wiscasset, Maine ( 44 N)?

2) Why might it have taken until April 20th for the first robin to reach Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (52 N)?

March 15 Robin first sighted on: March 15, 1995 Location: Vanderhoof, BC, Canada Global Address: 124 W Longitude, 54 N Latitude

April 16 & April 23 Hi! Just a note to let you know the robins arrived 24 km north of Fort St.John, British Columbia (or I spotted them) on Sunday, 8 AM, April 23rd. They were two males as the always come in a week or two ahead of the females. I also saw them at One Island Lake, about 30 km south east of Dawson Creek, B.C. on April 26th, again about 6 male robins. The fellow I was visiting there said they came in about 8 days previous to that. Brian Low, Teacher, Fort St. John, B.C., Canada

April 20 Just looked out in the backyard after dinner and saw the first robin this year; 1:30 pm CST April 20 at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (West side of city.) (52 degrees N, 106 W) Bob Bryce, Bob Bryce

April 23 Greeting from Ken Sanderson, Fort McMurray, Alberta. This weekend I saw my first robins on the year. At 8:30 am I observed a robin sitting in a tree, just north of the Fort McMurray townsite. Later on that day at approx 11:00 am I saw another robin on the road at Gregoire Lake Provincial Park, south of Fort McMurray. Spring is here at last!!!!

April 29 We heard and then saw our first robin this spring last night (April 29) in North Pole, Alaska. Roxanne Williams, 4th grade North Pole Elementary School North Pole, Alaska

The Advantages of Long Summer Days Consider the advantages extended day length provides for animals that only forage for food in daylight. How might the long days in northern regions benefit birds that migrate there? Don't forget, breeding animals need to feed themselves and their dependent offspring so finding food is very serious business.

Try this! Watch a bird feeder for ten minutes. Determine how many times a single bird visits and how many seeds it gathers each time. How much food could it gather in an hour? How many hours of daylight are there today where you live? Graph the amount of food your bird could gather in that many hours. How much more food could that same bird gather in the 24 daylight hours of the arctic summer?

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