Harbinger of Spring

You may have noticed the great many numbers of American Robins over the past few weeks; massive flocks spread throughout the farm fields of the Blue Ridge, or more recently groups lining the roadside during the recent snow event. These birds are part of a mass annual robin migration that is the dawning of spring. 

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Robins, as we all know from children’s books, love some earthworms! During the depths of winter those earthworms move deep into the soil to avoid the freeze. When the soil thaws with warming temperatures and rain, the earthworms migrate to the surface and American Robins follow suit. So, you can imagine a wave moving north across the US following the average ground temperature of 36 degrees as it marches toward Canada. The timing of this can vary year to year, and therefore the Robin migration dates can vary dramatically, but scientist have been monitoring those dates with observations from citizens throughout the country. To learn more and contribute your sightings visit: https://www.learner.org/jnorth/robins