Robin Sightings on the Rise

February 18, 2020 by Team Journey North

Robin sightings are on the rise across the United States. From the warmer temperatures of Florida to the frigid temperatures of Minnesota, waves of American Robins are dotting the landscape and making their presence known.

“Feeding on cedar nuts.” Photo by: Douglas (2/13/2020; Cocoa, FL)

Robins are a Welcome Sight

More Journey North citizen scientists are reporting robin sightings as the days slowly get longer and robin migration starts to kick into gear. Large waves of robins are being observed foraging for favorite food sources such as berries. Regardless of the number or behavior reported, robins are bringing joy to those who see them.

From Wilmington, NC: Loulie said, “I am on a neighborhood walk, and for 30 minutes there have been literally hundreds of robins. They are all over the golf course, in all the trees, flying around … it is magical. I have never experienced this before, and I have lived here 17 years.” (02/10/2020)

From Caddo Mills, TX: Kelly said, “before dawn I could hear a large amount of them singing in the trees on our back lot. Then once it was light outside could see a large migration of them all over my front and back yards. Beautiful scene!” (02/11/2020)

From Eau Claire, WI: Ellen noted the robins, “kept coming and going to the dried berries on my neighbor’s tree. It was amazing. I’d never seen anything like it before. Deep snow is everywhere. Very cold weather in the forecast.” (02/13/2020)

Help Track American Robins

Use the spring checklist to learn what to watch for this spring—wintering robins, first robins, first signing robins, waves of robins, first earthworms, and nesting behavior.

Help Track American Robin First Territorial Song

Across the continent, male robins arrive first on breeding grounds and begin to defend their nesting grounds by singing (and sometimes fighting). With March just a few weeks away, get ready now to report the song of these male robins by listening to the robin’s territorial song (which is different from other common vocalizations). Tracking the first songs of male robins is a reliable way to predict when the wave of spring migration reaches you.

  • Watch for a clear south to north progression on the robin song map
  • Learn to distinguish the True Song from other common vocalizations. Note that some robins may produce the first songs on their wintering grounds, but the vast majority wait until they are on breeding and nesting grounds.