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About the American Robin Migration Study
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American Robin Migration Updates will be posted on TUESDAYS:
Feb. 2, 16, Mar. 2, 9, 16, 23, Apr. 6, 20, May 4, 18

This Report Includes:

About the American Robin Migration Study
The return of the robin is perhaps the most familiar sign of spring in North America's northern regions. Students can track robin migration from the southern states all the way to the Arctic where they don't arrive until May!

This study begins with a winter robin round-up, a mid-winter census conducted by students in backyards across North America. With the results, they'll make a map showing where robins are found before their migration begins. As migration reports arrive, students can track the migration back to their own backyard. When their own robin reaches the end of its migration, it will announce its arrival by singing its territorial song. Never again will northern students simply say that robins go "down south" for the winter.

How to Participate
Here are some activities that your classroom may want to participate in:

1. Report the First Robin you SEE.

Report the first Robin you SEE this spring to Journey North!

A. Go outside and look for robins. Ask your neighbors if they have sighted robins. Contact your friends and relatives in other parts of North America. Ask everybody you know to help you look for robins!

B. When you spot a robin, send your field observations to Journey North.

C. On February 16th we'll post a map and data summary for you of winter robins. We'll also give you last winter's Winter Robin Round-Up data, so you can compare the results.

D. Reports of robins after February 15 will be included in our robin migration updates, as one measure of their migration.

2. Report the First Robin You HEAR Singing

Report the first Robin you HEAR singing this spring to Journey North!

New this year! Because so many robins have been seen in northern areas this winter, with your help we will track the robin' arrival on their breeding territories. When YOUR robin arrives on its territory it will SING its true song. Therefore, please report to Journey North when your backyard robin arrives.

Listen to the Robin's Song
Wait for download; 620 K file.
Recording Courtesy of
Lang Elliott

A. Learn the sound of the robin's true song. (It's different from the calls and chatters robins make in their flocks)

B. Report the first robin you HEAR singing. In a classroom setting, each student should listen for--and report--the first robin they hear singing. In many years, song reports will begin near the end of February and should reach a climax during the month of March.

3. Report Your First EARTHWORM
In areas where the ground freezes, one sign of spring is the appearance of the first earthworms of the season. This is called a "vertical migration". In his book, "North With the Spring", Edwin Way Teale describes this event. Read his description. Then keep your eyes opened for migrating worms. When you see your FIRST earthworms of the season, report them to Journey North as a "Signs of Spring."

4. Spring Fever: Testing a Theory About Robin Migration
This spring, your class can test an age-old theory about robin migration. Do robins move north as the average temperature reaches 36 degrees? Measure backyard temperatures, as described in our "Spring Fever" activity, and find out!

Report OTHER robin behaviors you notice to Journey North!

Report OTHER Robin Behaviors You Observe
Robins do a lot more than eat and sing! Some JN participants observe them chasing each other, building nests, squawking at Blue Jays, and other fascinating behaviors. Share these interesting observations with Journey North!

The Next American Robin Migration Study Update Will Be Posted on February 2, 1999.

Copyright 1999 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form

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