Last of Winter, First of Spring
March 22, 2017 by Rita Welch

Winter Storm Stella blew through last week and robins hunkered down. Now spring has returned and robins are continuing toward their territories.

A Day in the Life
of a Migrating Robin

"Many robins in the area, surviving in the snow, cold and wind of winter storm Stella."

Mary McNeill from Buffalo, New York

Last of Winter

Winter returned with a vengence during its last week, delivering severe wind, snow and ice across the robin's eastern range.

Washingtonville, New York: "We've had flocks of robins earlier, but now we have a single robin trying to find food on the few patches of bare ground beside the driveway. The rest is still under more than a foot of snow. I haven't heard him sing, but I'm going to be listening, because I believe our robin is home," reported Betsy Hawes on March 16th.

First of Spring
After the storm, observers were reporting robins proclaiming their arrival with territorial song.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota: "Hearing several male robins singing from treetops in neighborhood this morning. Weather fair skies, calm, 45 degrees," reported Sue Mohn on March 20th.

Delevan, New York: "Two male robins were in the exact same spots I saw them in last year — in exactly the same places they claimed as their territory — one whose boundary ends at the end of my neighbor's yard and the other in my yard. They were tossing clods of earth for grubs," reported Michelle Novak on March 17th.

Claiming a territory is a male’s first job in spring. A robin's territory is where mating and nesting takes place. What does he look for?

A Day in the Life
of a Migrating Robin
Branchburg, New Jersey
Darcy Jane
Waves of Robins in Alaska
Lethridge, Alberta
Ken Orich

Claiming a Territory    

Companion Resources

American Robin Claiming a Territory


Photo Gallery

Text Only Article

Teaching Suggestions

Driving Question

What does a robin look for when choosing a territory?

Report Your Sightings
Robin Migration: What to Report Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins
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Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Robin Nesting Behavior Earthworm migration map
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Next Update March 29, 2017