Seeing Robins?

February 5, 2020 by Team Journey North

Report your sightings of American Robins and help document where robins are present at this time of year.

“Once again, the robins have returned to my crabapple tree.” Photo by Julie (01/20/2020; Bay Village, OH)

Robins Symbolize the Return of Spring

Some American Robins migrate while others remain in place throughout the winter months. From September 2019 to January 2020, Journey North citizen scientists reported seeing robins in 32 states (including Alaska) and several Canadian provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec).

Regardless of whether you have seen robins all winter long or not, most likely you still think of American Robins as harbingers of spring. In mid-February, the song of the American Robin can brighten the day and give hope for the return of spring in northern US and Canada.  

Please Report Robin First Heard Singing

Journey North citizen scientists have yet to submit reports of hearing the Robin’s territorial song. However, as the daylight hours get longer and temperatures continue to rise, you could hear the Robin song in your backyard any day now. Please take a moment to hone your listening skills so that you can accurately identify the Robin territorial song. And don’t forget to report to Journey North.

Please Continue to Report Flocks of American Robins

During the winter months from September to mid-February, American Robins usually travel in flocks. Journey North citizen scientists have reported flocks as small as 3 while others have reported flocks as large as 500. Food availability and weather greatly influences where Journey North citizen scientists actually report seeing flocks of American Robins. When one source of food (nuts, berries and fruit) becomes depleted, American Robins move to another location. 

Along the coasts, Journey North citizen scientists are seeing flocks of robins as far north as Kennebunk, ME and Everett, WA. There are even a few sightings from Montana. 

From Kennebunkport, ME: Anne saw close to a hundred robins in her neighborhood.” (01/19/2020)

From Everett, WAMadelyn reported seeing “a group just started looking for food all around my building.” (01/18/2020)

The largest flocks reported for January were from Journey North citizen scientists in Missouri, Florida and Pennsylvania. 

From Kimberling City, MOEugenia noted, “There were over 200 that flew in between Lampe and Kimberling City Missouri. They stated about 2 hours and more waves have been coming since.” (01/31/2020)

From Maitland, FLValerie saw a “magnificent sight” of several dozen robins foraging in her back yard. She reported seeing “dozens more robins in the tree canopy and then all flew away to join an even larger flock.” (01/21/2020)

From Port Saint Lucie, FL: Mamie reported 200 “thirsty” robins at “4 bird baths, searching grass for food. Very quite” with no song heard. (01/26/2020)

From Wapwallopen, PA: Susan observed an estimated 200 robins ”feeding on crabapples in my yard and winterberries, also scavenging ground in the woods on both sides of my home.” (01/23/2020)

Help Us Track American Robins

Go to What To Report to learn more about how you can help us track American Robins. 

flock of robins

Robins Foraging

“At least 25 and more are arriving every few minutes.” Forestburg, TX

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