Singing in Spring
February 15, 2017 by Rita Welch

Get ready to report singing robins. Learn how to distinguish the robin's true song from other common vocalizations.

American Robin Migration

Robins can sing for long stretches without stopping. Birds can make sounds while breathing both in and out! Humans need to take a breath now and then because our sound is only produced as we breathe out.
Tom Grey

Robins Soon to Sing

The first reports of robins singing their True Song typically begin near the end of February and reach a peak during the month of March.

Singing, like many other behaviors — including migration— is governed primarily by changing day length. As days get longer, a bird's hormone levels change and stimulate changes in physiology and behavior to prepare for breeding.

Report True Song
Male robins sing when they arrive on their breeding territories. You'll know your neighborhood robin has arrived when he wakes you up at dawn and sings continuously.

  • Get ready to report the first robin you hear singing his true song. Learn to distinguish the song from other common vocalizations.

While some robins may produce the first songs on their wintering grounds, the vast majority wait until they are actually back on territory before singing. This is why we use robin song to track migration.

Singing Robins

Waves of Robins in Alaska

First Heard

Robin Song and Other Vocalizations

Learn how to distinguish the robin's true song from other common vocalizations.

True Song





Sounds courtesy of Lang Elliott Nature Sound Studios.

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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Report | Map | List
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Next Update February 22, 2017