Preparing for the Next Generation

April 16, 2021 by Team Journey North

American Robins are being reported as far north as Alaska. And observations of nesting behavior are picking up as spring progresses. Keep reporting to Journey North!

“I have heard a robin or two off in the distance for a few weeks, but wasn’t fortunate to really see one or have them visit my back yard yet. Finally today I spotted at least 3 of them scattered from one end of my yard to the other.” Photo by: Tina (Nebraska City, NE; 04/03/2021)

Call for Photos!

If possible, please include photos when reporting observations. Photos help verify reports. And we enjoy seeing and sharing them with our Journey North community!

As Far North As Alaska

American Robins are an adaptable species and thrive throughout North America. Journey North observers in Alaska are welcoming their arrival.

Pam in Haines, AK: “[American Robin] plus first Varied Thrush singing, A sure sign of spring. Weather just warmed up and snow is melting.” (04/15/2021)

Building Nests

Observations of nesting behavior are increasing as more American Robins arrive to breeding territories. This time of year robins are busy collecting nest material as they start the construction process and prepare to welcome the next generation. Some have even completed their nests and are staring to lay eggs!

Barb in Windsor Heights, IA: “She [American Robin] started yesterday, continues back and forth trips today.” (04/09/2021)

Tedd in New Kensington, PA: “Robin seen multiple days gathering/carrying nest materials into a dense Norwegian spruce.” (04/11/2021)

Ellen in Frederick, MD: “We have many robins, but today we observed 4 nests- all with eggs - in 4 different trees for the first time this season.” (04/14/2021)

Deb in Minneapolis, MN: “[American Robin] pulling at dead morning glory vines 4/09/21. Repeat activity yesterday, 4/15/2021 at the same site. Lots of decaying leaf turn over as well looking for insects.”(04/15/2021)

Last Robin of Winter vs First Robin of Spring

Not all American Robins migrate. So, how does one tell the difference between the “last robin of winter” and “first robin of spring” ? It’s complicated. Laura Erickson, ornithologist and a longtime guest contributor to Journey North, dives into more detail in her blog post. And you read more of Laura’s blog posts and learn more about American Robins and other species on her website.

April is Citizen Science Month!

Citizen Science Month encompasses online events and opportunities to contribute to citizen science initiatives from home. This April, Journey North celebrates our citizen scientists and encourages others to join this important effort. Watch our Journey North video to learn how to participate. And learn more about Citizen Science Month and other Journey North projects here.