Migration Update: January 31, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Welcome to Journey North's 19th 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 and eat in the wintertime? Observations people reported in January help tell the story!

This Week's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
A robin eating berries in winter.

What do robins eat in winter?

Image: Rory Merry
Migration News: Learning From Citizen Scientists

January's roller-coaster weather was warmer than usual in some places, but snowy and cold in others. 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 that stay as long as they find food. Where were the robins and what were they doing? How can they survive? Here's a sample of reports:

  • South Carolina: There are thousands of robins in huge flocks on the ground. They are always thirsty and feeding on the cedar berries and plants I have planted for their winter berries.
  • Texas: Around 5:30 p.m. my husband and I witnessed wave after wave of migrating robins headed west into the sun. It was really surprising to see so many birds. The crossing lasted at least 45 minutes. Unbelievable!
  • Texas: On this day there were thousands of American Robins moving through the woods and open areas. They were extremely noisy: rustling in fallen leaves, eating juniper berries, chirping, and relieving themselves everywhere! These groups were flying continuously overhead for hours.

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?

Hungry Robins
Image: J. Holland

Thirsty Robins
Image: Lois McLean

Slideshow: What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?

Citizen Scientists Observe
Over 140 people reported large waves of robins during January. Many saw what the robins were eating. Based on their actual observations, find out what robins eat at this time of year. Go on a scavenger hunt through some sighting reports to find robins' favorite foods and drinks.

1. Hunt for Facts
Read observation reports from citizen scientists.

2. Learn More in This Week's Slideshow
See: What Do Robins Eat in the Wintertime?


Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?

These maps show where people reported robins and earthworms in January:

Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Earthworm migration map
First See
Report Your Sightings! What, Where & How
First robin of spring Waves of robins Singin robin First earthworm of spring
The First Robin You

Robins migrating in Waves

The First Robin You
Hear Singing

Your first sighting of Earthworms

The Next Robin Migration Update Will Be Posted on February 14, 2012