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Robins Arrive — As Another Chicago Spring Nears — Ready to Dine on Worms

By Justin Breen | February 22, 2016 5:40am | Updated on February 26, 2016 3:01pm
 Robins have started migrating north to Chicago.
Robins have started migrating north to Chicago.
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Flickr Creative Commons/Field Museum

CHICAGO — Although some of the species live here in the dead of winter, it's hard to think of something more associated with spring than the robin.

Most of the robins who make their homes in Chicago have started to arrive — or will be getting here soon — from their southern winter residences.

The majority of robins live so far south, like in Mexico or Guatemala, because the frozen ground here during winter prevents them from digging up their favorite food: worms. Robins also eat fruit, insects and even fish, according to Journey North, a nonprofit that tracks the birds' migration.

Check out reports of robins' first signs of singing from 2015:

Robin Migration Map First Song

Some other interesting facts about robins:

• They fly between 30-36 miles per hour during migration.

• Only 25 percent of fledging robins that migrate survive until November.

• Robins form loose flocks when flying and feeding during migration.

• Robins migrate along an invisible "37-degree isotherm" line, which moves up the continent as spring arrives and where the average 24-hour temperature is 37 degrees.

• If a storm blows them off course, robins can determine their location using the angle of the sun in relation to time of day.

You can track the robins' migration here or report sightings by signing up here.

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