Springtime Sightings

March 14, 2022 by Team Journey North

Spring officially begins on Sunday, March 20. With the breeding season fast approaching, American Robins are spreading out across North America. Be on the lookout for robins foraging and nesting, and listen for their territorial song. Report your observations to Journey North.

“A wonderful surprise to see our first robin around 5:00 pm. It was a sunny 60 degree day.” Photo Mary in Wayland, NY (03/06/22)

Robins on the Rise

As spring migration progresses, more Journey North volunteers are reporting American Robins. From Maine to British Columbia, robins are a welcome sign that spring is around the corner.

Kat in Maple Ridge, BC: “First robin seen outside bushes at work.” (03/14/2022)

Betty in Farmington, MN: “Heard him singing this morning. He’s been hanging out around our house all day. Welcome to spring.” (03/11/2022)

Ellen in Eau Claire, WI: “My husband and I confirmed a robin at my neighbor’s bird bath … Spring is just around the corner!” (03/13/2022)

Ann in Kenduskeag, ME: “I saw a whole flock of robins in the nearby Town of Levant. They were all eating under a tree. As usual, we had a snow storm last night and they found a bare patch of earth and some seeds. So glad spring is on its way!” (03/13/2022)

A reminder about reporting first observations: a wave is three or more American Robins. If your first observation of the season is three or more individuals, please report under Robin (WAVE seen); if your first observation is one or two individuals, please report under Robin (First SEEN).

Listen for the Territorial Song

Male American Robins arrive first on breeding grounds and begin to mark their territory by singing. With spring beginning soon, get ready to listen for their territorial song (also known as the “True Song”). Tracking the first songs of males is a reliable way to predict when the wave of spring migration reaches you. Report under the category: Robin (First HEARD singing).

Monica in Richwood, OH: “I heard a robin sweetly singing from the evergreens. Ten minutes later, I saw a male robin under the bird feeder near the trees.” (03/01/2022)

Watch for Nesting Behavior

Watch for signs such as the male or female flying with nest materials, or the female with mud on breast. Both gather nest materials but usually only the female builds. Report under the category: Robin (Nesting Behavior)

Jules in Zelienople, PA: “They were collecting sticks and circling trees and such.” (03/04/2022)

Call for Photos

If possible, please include photos in your reports. Photos are always helpful; they aid in identification and shed light on behavior. It is hard to count birds – we are not asking for an official number, just an estimate.