Despite Wintry Weather...

April 17, 2019 by Team Journey North

...Robins Continue Migrating Northward.

“It is still wintry here with snow on the ground and 18 inches of ice on the lake! I’m fearful this poor robin arrived too soon and won’t be able to find any food here.” Photo submitted by: Pat (Lake, MI: 03/19/2019)

April Snows

The calendar says spring but in many northern states and Candian provinces snow is still falling. Despite spring snow storms, robins continue to journey north. Fortunately, robins are larger birds that generally have more fat reserves. In harsh weather, hungry robins need to eat to maintain their body heat and can draw to bird feeders or other foods not normally on their menu.

From Ironwood, MI: Lesley described this snow scene: ”Big late spring snowstorm pushed a lot of bird species to the upper peninsula of Michigan…Lots of snow south of us. 32-38 degrees with several inches of snow. We received a large group of 20 or more robins after the storm. We are feeding chopped fruit & raisins & dried cranberries. Wonderful to see our robins back!” (04/12/2019)

From Lunenburg Municipal District, Nova Scotia, Canada: Roberta notes, “Although individual robins have been spotted, today there were two big waves of 20 or more desperately looking for worms as a snowstorm approached.” (04/09/2019)

From Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada: Margot noted, ”After a couple of weeks of melting, with snow gone from most open areas (still in the woods), we had 2cm of snow on April 4. The robins were looking for food under a tree where there was no snow. Six birds were still there the following morning.” (04/04/2019)

Despite wintry conditions, robins in the southern portions of the U.S. are building nests and laying eggs.

From Bedford, IN: Jacqueline found 4 eggs in robins nest in her grape arbor. (04/07/2019)

From Dallas, TX: Laura described, “Nest is attended by mommy on a regular basis. So amazing.” (03/23/2019)

Cold temperature, storm systems and wintry weather have definitely slowed migration in places like Alaska. Journey North citizen scientists are waiting.

From Shageluk, AK: Joyanne contributed this comment: “Although our temps have been far above the “robins arrive” temp, we have seen none. Our Robin flyway we figure crosses over in the eastern Tok/Delta/Fairbanks area before they get to us, we figure most of the songbirds come in from that direction. Our previous years data show them being heard as early as April 10 and as late as May 5. ANY DAY NOW!” (04/10/2019)

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