Robins on the Move

February 17, 2023 by Team Journey North

Spring is just over a month away! Report your observations of American Robins and help document where they are present this time of year.

Round of Robins
Photo: Danielle in San Diego, CA (02/07/2023)

Symbolizing Spring

American Robins represent spring’s arrival to many people, and though some robins begin to migrate this time of year, some remain in place throughout the winter months.

By February, the largest numbers of robins are in the south where they still find fruit. Increasing sunlight triggers an urge to return north as those robins grow restless. Their whole body is urging them to establish a territory, mate, and raise babies; however, they can’t start any of these behaviors until they arrive on their breeding grounds. Depending on available food and favorable weather, some flocks begin to journey north.

When you see a flock (or wave) of three or more robins, report these observations to the Robin (WAVE seen) category. When robins arrive at their breeding territory, they disperse from their previous movement in waves; those observations then should be noted in our other reporting categories. You can review the American Robin reporting protocols here.>>

A Welcome Sight

Journey North volunteers continue to report their observations of robins, even with winter weather still blanketing much of North America.

Cathy in Vista, CA: “A hundred or more Robins were seen in our pepper tree in our front yard. They were very loud… and flew back and forth from the pepper tree to the jacaranda tree…” (02/12/2023)

Elizabeth in Janesville, WI:  “I saw at least one Robin at about twilight.   It flew from the ground up to the branches of this arborvitae.” (02/08/2023)

C in San Jose, CA: “We don’t usually get Robins in our neighborhood. Maybe an occasional one here and there but this morning I woke up to hundreds of them. I counted 30 of them on my backyard tree alone…” (02/03/2023)

American Robins are being observed as far north as Alaska:

Cherie in Anchorage, AK: “Very surprising to see robins. There were about half a dozen. Several other people commented the same thing on this date. It’s highly unusual. I have videos from my bird cam. One was leucistic. They appeared well fed. Not many berries around except for mountain ash and European bird cherry.” (02/10/2023)

Read more about leucistic robins>>

Help Track American Robins

Read the robin reporting protocols and report to Journey North this spring: first robins, first signing robins, waves of robins, nesting behavior, and first earthworms.