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Old 02-06-2004, 05:52 AM
CBCD CBCD is offline
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Robins Still Fly South in Winter in America?

Do robins still fly south in the winter and return north as an early sign of spring in North America?

My husband says no. He says they stay in place now in the Northeast, hanging out with grackles.

I saw a robin yesterday in New Jersey, and said 'Ah ha! This wretched winter will one day be over - there is the first sign of spring.' My husband said 'Nope.'

Have robin's migratory patterns changed?
Old 02-06-2004, 06:03 AM
Odinoneeye Odinoneeye is offline
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This isn't a scientific answer, just my personal experience but I'd say no.

I live in Michigan and I usually notice every spring when there are suddenly a lot more robins around.

Although IIRC, any bird will stay put if they have a food source. My parents never leave bird feeders out during the winter so that the birds won't be tempted to stay put.
Everything I ever needed to know, I havn't learned yet.
Old 02-06-2004, 07:33 AM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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I think most do, but some don't.
Old 02-06-2004, 07:49 AM
astorian astorian is online now
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Since robins live primarily on worms, they can't very well survive the winter in places where it snows, or where the ground freezes.

If they stay around in a cold environment, they'd have to change their diets significantly. A grackle can and will eat just about ANYTHING, so the weather doesn't bother it much. But a robin isn't so omnivorous.
Old 02-06-2004, 08:28 AM
labmonkey labmonkey is offline
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Michigan, here as well. Robbins definitely still return in the spring and are conspicuously absent in winter. Whether or not they still migrate their entire range, I couldn't tell you.
Old 02-06-2004, 08:32 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Location: Southern Pennsylvania
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I haven't seen a robin in my yard in months.

But that doesn't mean that the fly south. They could just be avoiding me... stinking no good robins.
Until you stalk and overcome, you can't devour anyone - Hobbes.
Old 02-06-2004, 09:22 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by CBCD
I saw a robin yesterday in New Jersey, and said 'Ah ha! This wretched winter will one day be over - there is the first sign of spring.' My husband said 'Nope.'
Lots of robins over-winter as far north as New Jersey, and into southern Canada:

Map:Overwintering Robins

Originally Posted by CBCD
Have robin's migratory patterns changed?
They seem to be, at least in some areas, apparently in response to climate change:

From this article:

In the Rocky Mountains:

American robins . . . are arriving 14 days earlier than they did in 1981; the interval between arrival date and the first date of bare ground has grown by 18 days.
I suspect that more robins are overwintering in the Northeastern U.S. than before, due both to climate change and the greater availability of planted fruit trees than before.
"We're lost, but we're making good time." - Lawrence Peter Berra.
Old 02-07-2004, 02:50 AM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
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I saw robins year-round when I lived in Nanimo BC a few years ago.
Old 02-07-2004, 09:58 PM
_xiao_wenti_ _xiao_wenti_ is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Location: SE USA
Posts: 404
I live in the SE USA -- one of those states you are embarassed to claim to live in. Anyway, we usually don;t see many Robins, however the friday before last we had SCADS of robins drop by. At the university that I work, there were maybe 1 every 3 or so square meters of grass. The next day they were gone (north I presume)


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