An Adaptable Species

April 14, 2020 by Team Journey North

Fluctuating spring weather is not slowing down robins. More sightings in Canada are being reported and observations of nesting behavior are increasing as well.

A robin spotted, “carrying nesting material.” Photo by: Robert (Wausau, WI; 04/01/2020)

Spring Snow? No Problem

Wintry conditions in parts of Canada and the United States are not slowing the northward migration of robins. Robins are a hearty species with ample fat reserves to help them survive tough conditions. When they are unable to forage on the ground for favorite meals such as earthworms, robins will expand their menu and turn to other food sources.

From Willow City, ND: Sherry said, “My first sighting and happy I got a photo of one. Our ground is covered with snow and it will be awhile before they will be digging for worms.” (04/03/2020)

From Niverville, MB: Phil noted “Manitoba just had a snow storm these friends are making the best of it.” (04/04/2020)

From Naples, NY: Nancy shared, “We had a couple of inches of snow this morning but as soon as it melted our first robin got busy finding juicy bugs to munch for lunch.” (04/10/2020)

Nests Keep Robins Busy

Journey North citizen scientists are reporting more observations of nesting behavior. Robins are busy collecting nest material as they start the construction process. Some have even completed their nests and are staring to lay eggs! Report what robin activities you are seeing.

From Washington, DC: Lesmes observed a robin nest that was, “like every year, protected under the deck and on top of a wooden beam.” (04/05/2020)

From Waterloo, QC:  Scarlett shared, “we spent last week watching this nest being built and were able to snap the picture last Tuesday. We stopped seeing activity by last Thursday and although we see Robins on the property, we do not see them in the cedar nor in the nest. We received two inches of rain and four inches of snow on Friday. Did this cause them an issue? We’ll keep an eye out for developments. The pic was taken from the living room window so we have a bird’s eye view.” (04/07/2020)

From Madison, WI: Jennifer shared, “I saw two Robins collecting sticks and plant material in my yard just as it started raining earlier today. The picture, taken from inside my house looking out toward the street, isn’t the greatest, but you can see the plant material in the Robin’s mouth.” (04/08/2020)

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 Nests and Eggs. Let’s all explore together. 

Are You Seeing Other Species?

Many other bird species are returning from their overwintering grounds as spring migration continues to pick up. What species are you seeing?

You can submit your sightings for American Loons, Barn Swallows, Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles, and Red-winged Blackbirds. 

Go to the Journey North sightings page and under the ‘Select Species or Event‘ dropdown menu, select ‘Loon’, ’Barn Swallow’, Oriole’ or ‘Red-Winged Blackbird’. If you are seeing other species not listed, select ‘All Other Signs of Spring’ under the dropdown menu.