Migration Update: February 1, 2011
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Welcome to Journey North's 18th season! Join citizen scientists across North America as we track the robin's spring migration. Learn how to watch for robins and how to listen for their first song. What do robins do in the wintertime? What do they eat? Observations people reported in January help tell the story!

This Week's Report Includes:

Image of the Week

What can robins eat in winter?

Photo: Fran Ludwig
Report Your Sightings! What, Where & How

We are collecting the following observations. Will you help?

The First Robin You
The First Waves
of Migrating Robins

Wayne Kruyduba

The First Robin You
Hear Singing

Your first sighting of Earthworms

to Report

Click the word "Sightings" on the navigation bar above.
Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?
These maps show where people observed robins in January:

Robins: 1st Seen

Robins: Waves

Robins: Singing

Journal: Learning from Citizen Scientist Observations

January was snowy and cold! Each time a cold front moved across the continent, people reported hundreds and thousands of robins on the move. Many were surprised to see robins so early, and didn't realize some are overwintering robins. How can they survive? Where were the robins and what were they doing? Here's a sample:

  • Indiana: I was taking the dog out and every tree was loaded with robins. There had to have been hundreds. They were even on the house. I looked and I was surrounded by robins. I had never seen anything like this before.
  • Tennessee: There are thousands of robins in huge flocks on the ground. I have never seen so many in all my life.
  • Illinois: I noticed the robins yesterday. About 50 of them. They are in my back yard. I have a tree with berries, or I had a tree with berries. . .We have snow on the ground and we are to get another ice/snow storm on Tuesday. It made my day when I saw all of these beautiful Robins in my yard!!! I'm really, really, really ready for spring, but I think they are confused!

All the observations our citizen scientists made in January gave a good snapshot of robin behavior in the wintertime. See for yourself! What can you learn by reading the observations?

Try this!


Thirsty robins shared a drink in Virginia.
Optional Journal Page

Hungry robins covered the ground in Tennessee.
Optional Journal Page

Journal Page and Teaching Suggestions
Focus: What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?

Read Discoveries Made by Citizen Scientists
Over 180 people reported large waves of robins during January. Many people saw what the robins were eating. Based on their actual observations, you can find out what robins eat at this time of year. Go on a scavenger hunt through some sighting reports and see if you can find the robin's favorite foods and drinks. What will you be surprised to discover?

1. Collect the facts in these observation reports from citizen scientists.

2. Learn More in This Week's Slideshow:
For robins, food is even more important than shelter in the wintertime. Find out where robins find the food they need, and how cold temperatures affect them:
What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?


Slideshow: What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?
Links: Robin Resources to Explore


How is this robin staying warm?

Photo: John Deignan
More Robin Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Robin Migration Update Will Be Posted on February 15, 2011.