Robin Migration Update: February 14, 2012
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Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Sightings of large waves of robins during the past two weeks outnumbered other types of robin sightings. Many said the birds were thirsty. Where are robins finding water, and what are two reasons robins need water?

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Thirsty robins wait for a turn to drink from a birdbath.
Photo: Robyn Greene
Waiting for a Turn
Migration News: Robins Need Water
Robins are winter wanderers that move in response to dwindling food supplies and harsh weather. Your observations help us see how robins are faring and what their movements might mean.
  • New York: Saw 6-7 large robins all drinking from our bird bath out back.
  • New Jersey: They seemed thirsty...stayed close to the birdbath, drinking and resting...
  • Virginia: At least 100 robins in the trees and many visiting the birdbath this afternoon.
  • Texas: Just observed about 2 dozen big fat robins at our bird bath. They seem incredibly thirsty.
  • Alabama: There are hundreds of Robins in our yard and several on the garden fountain.
  • Georgia: We have had huge numbers (about 30) of robins for about three days. Full time job keeping the water containers full. Love it!
  • Florida: The bird baths and puddles are full of water and full of robins.
  • Florida: For the first time ever I saw a large flock of Robins drinking rain water off the top of my van, and foraging on the ground.
  • Florida: Waves of Robins ... enjoying my automatic water sprinkler under my rose bush.
  • Florida: Many taking baths in my 8 bathing stations.

Are observers seeing thirsty robins because water is scarce where they live? Or are robins thirsty because they've come from regions where they found little water?

Drought Map: Got Water?

Citizen scientists in many areas are noting a lack of precipitation this winter:

  • Tennessee: This winter has been warmer than usual with no snow.
  • Michigan: We haven't had much snow at all this winter.
  • Florida: We have to fill the bird baths 4-6 times a day. Dozens — if not hundreds — of robins clamoring around our bird baths.

What can you learn from this drought map?

Several robins enjoying the water at aa Florida backyard goldfish pond.
Photo: Raymond Powers, Sr.
Flocking to Water
Robins fill the tree.
Photo: Neil Thompson
Why Stick Together?
Winter robins
Photo: Lois McLean
Busy Bird Bath
Drought map for the United States, week of feb. 7, 2012
Drought Map
Photo Study: Where Robins Find Water
A robin's habitat must meet its survival needs — on the wintering grounds, on migration, and on the summer breeding grounds. Water is one of those needs. Explore: How is This Robins Using its Habitat?
Photo Study
Latest Maps: Where Are Robins Now?
These maps show where people have reported robins and earthworms.
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 28, 2012.