Robin Migration News: March 2, 2016
By Rita Welch

March is peak migration month. For the first time, FIRST reports outnumber WAVE reports and robins are starting to sing on territory.

"On Feb. 25th, I saw robins in oak trees and heard peek & tut calls." reported Bonnie from Texas.

Looking for Spring?
As temperatures warm and snow melts, robins cluster at bare spots, foraging for food. Observers, like Mike Quinlan from Maryland, are seeing the shift from winter to spring:

"A distinct change in behavior has occurred. On February 26th, I was still seeing robins in scattered flocks of 20-40 throughout the area. The next two days, I only saw robins singly, or sometimes in pairs, rarely more than that. The largest group I saw in a single area was 7-9 on February 28th. Most were foraging on the ground. Some were singing or calling and I saw at least one territorial display. It would appear that robin migration has started."


"On Feb. 22nd, a robin was looking for worms after warm weather melted our snow," noted Emily from Pennslyvania.

Finding Earthworms?
More robins have been switching from their winter diet of berries to their spring diet of worms. Rain and snowmelt soften the soil for earthworms to emerge. Watch how robins search in places where snow has recently melted.

"When spring comes and frost leaves the soil, the earthworms become migrants, tunneling upward. They appear at the surface, leaving the first castings of the new season, as soon as the average temperatures of the ground reaches about 36 degrees. At the same time, the robins return from the south." Excerpt from North With the Spring by Edwin Way Teale.

Explore: Spring Temperatures and Robin Migration

Will waves of robins arrive when the average temperature reaches 36 degrees Fahrenheit in your hometown? Create a line graph to track your average weekly temperatures in March and April. What habitat changes do you see from week to week?



Report Your Sightings
Robin Migration: What to Report Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins
What to Report First Seen
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Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Robin Nesting Behavior Earthworm migration map
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Next Update March 9, 2016