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?

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.

I think most do, but some don’t.

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.

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.

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. :slight_smile:

Lots of robins over-winter as far north as New Jersey, and into southern Canada:

Map:Overwintering Robins

They seem to be, at least in some areas, apparently in response to climate change:

From this article:

In the Rocky Mountains:

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.

I saw robins year-round when I lived in Nanimo BC a few years ago.

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)