I saw a big, healthy-looking robin the other morning, and it seemed out of place for February. The lore I had learned in the past is that they are usually the first migratory bird one sees when spring is nearing.
So either spring is really near or what I learned was wrong all those years ago. A quick check on the world wide web shows that I wasn’t too off. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the American robin is known as the “harbinger of spring,” but the birds are actually present year-round in the Buckeye State.
“Robins can and do roost in the state through the winter, especially if it is a mild one; those that overwinter in Ohio are more abundant in the southern portions of the state.
“As winter ends and daylight lengthens, American robins are often the first birds you hear singing just as dawn approaches. This behavior has earned the bird the nickname ‘wake robin,'” according to the ODNR.
Well, that makes perfect sense now. We have had a pretty warm winter. The chirping I’ve been hearing morning and night have reminded me of spring. Apparently I’ve enjoyed the song of the American robin for my entire life and didn’t even know it was coming from them.
Listening to them brings back childhood memories of waking up early to get outside and enjoy the new spring weather. I can remember there sometimes still being large piles of snow sitting around from the hard winter.
It was warm enough to go outside and play in a sweatshirt or jacket, but sometimes you still needed boots to tromp through the piles of snow melting into the ground, turning it to mud.
Those were good times. Happy almost spring!
Hanson can be reached at email@example.com.