Spring into Action
March 29, 2017 by Rita Welch

After you've seen your first robin, keep watching. As the breeding season begins robins spring into action — singing, claiming, battling, and wooing.

American Robin Migration

As snow melts, robins can forage for food on the newly exposed ground.
Image by Gordon Johnston, Ottawa, Ontario on March 21, 2017

Breeding Season Begins

Spring is a high-energy time for robins. After migration, the busy breeding season begins as they establish territory and woo mates. Many observers described the spring behaviors they are seeing as robins return and start settling in:

York, Pennsylvania: "About 6:30 a.m. three robins were singing the dawn song, competing with the cardinals. Wonderful to hear. One hour later, they were under trees in pairs searching for worms," reported Kay on March 21st.

Arrivals are Rivals
The first robins to return and set up territorial boundaries are often the ones who were in the same spot the summer before. If the territory has important resources the "home" birds — both male and female — may spend valuable time and energy chasing off rivals that attempt to settle in the area.

Lakeshore, Ontario: "Finally! My robin was singing from a branch outside my window at around 8:45 am. He was also busy driving away competitors from his acre," reported Laura on March 21st.

Hitting Windows
Every year people write with concern about robins who are repeatedly flying and crashing into their windows. Why do robins do this and how can you help? Read more...

Be on the Lookout
Help document where robins are and what they are doing. Here's a list of spring behaviors to report:

Settling in...
Judy Bostow
Battling for Territory
Andy Wilson
Robins Hitting Windows
Hitting Windows
Michael Ehret
Robins Hitting Windows
Explore: What do robins do in the spring?

Notice and note the spring behaviors you see and hear. Try to record the date, time, and sex of each bird you observe.

Report Your Sightings
Robin Migration: What to Report Robin Migration Map: First Robin Robin Migration Map: Waves of Robins
What to Report First Seen
Report | Map | List
Report | Map | List
Robin migration map: First robins heard singing Robin Nesting Behavior Earthworm migration map
Report | Map | List
Report | Map | List
Report | Map | List
Next Update April 5, 2017