Preparing for the Next Generation

March 31, 2020 by Team Journey North

Territories are being staked, worms are being foraged, and nests are being built as robins prepare to welcome the next generation.

“Robin thoroughly enjoying the bird bath!” Photo by: Kat (Oconomowoc, WI; 03/17/2020)

Robins as far North as Alaska

Robins are being seen and heard all across the United States and Canada, with reports as far north as Alaska. Journey North citizen scientists are noting how robins are becoming increasingly vocal, particularly the males who are marking their breeding territory.

From Thunder Bay, ON: Angie said, “around 9:00 am EST in the morning I heard a robin singing his “true song” coming from one of our front door neighbour’s yard. I recorded it & listened back to it later & confirmed it was definitely the male robin’s “true song” marking his breeding territory. The next day (March 25, 2020) I heard 2 robins singing their “true song” in 2 completely different directions. Then today (March 28, 2020) I heard 4 robins singing their “true song” in the late evening (around 7:00 to 8:00 pm). Clearly the male robins are back in their breeding territory here in Northern Ontario! It is so exciting to have them back.” (03/24/2020)

From Madison, WI: Jennifer shared, “Was out for a walk in the evening and this Robin was singing from the top of the tree. I heard other Robins singing from the distance.” (03/24/2020)

From Palmer, AK: Dan noted, “first robin on a cold, rainy day.” (03/27/2020)

Foraging for Worms

Earthworms – a favorite springtime meal for robins – are also being noted. Be on the lookout for robins foraging on the ground as spring rains drive earthworms out of the soil.

From Selinsgrove, PA: Susan M. was, “Raking wet leaves in my yard and I saw two worms at different locations underneath the leaves. It had rained prior and it was early afternoon.I also saw several earthworms on my driveway.” (03/20/2020)

From Swift Current, SK: Tommy noted, “American Robin spotted foraging for worms!” (03/29/2020)

Nesting has Begun

In the lower 48, nesting season is just beginning. It will not be long before the next generation arrives.

From Evansville, IN: Suze shared, “Robin’s have begun building a nest in a candle lantern on my back porch. The lantern has been filled with what looks like dead grass, and the bottom portion is just taking shape. This is a good month sooner than last year!” (03/19/2020)

From Jackson, MS: Karen observed a, “robin nesting. Nest built around 3/22. Starting sitting on nest about 3/26. Nesting in a Chinese parasol tree about 25 feet off the ground.” (03/29/2020)

Looking For Fun Activities To Do At Home?

Look no further! Journey North has many resources for anyone with a curious mind. This week we feature resources related to Robin Habitat Needs & Claiming Territory. Let’s all explore together. 

Continue to Report Sightings

Report what robin activities you are seeing and hearing. Use the spring checklist to learn what to watch for this spring – first robins, first signing robins, waves of robins, first earthworms, and nesting behavior.