Alex Palmer's Natural History Notes and Thoughts

Thoughts and reflections on various social and environmental issues, as well as naturalist observations from the great outdoors.

red wings equal spring

March is a tough time of year. It is when the weather cannot decide to be warm and sunny, or cold and cloudy. Spring during this time of year, seems awfully far away, and the long and slushy give way to bone-chilling nights. It it easy for most to assume, especially if they are in a northern climate, that winter will linger on indefinitely.

Yet most people overlook an important element of these early spring days. If you are ever in doubt as to whether spring really is here or not, then listen for the call of the red-winged blackbird across the still frozen marsh. Textbooks will tell you that this bird is calling to claim territory so that when the females arrive in the warmth of April, they are ready to continue their life-cycle. However, if you listen closer, they will tell you something else. Something you could not believe was true until you heard the shrilling song…
…spring is already here!

2 responses to “red wings equal spring

  1. Brandon March 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Very nice! I know exactly what you mean!

  2. Robert March 23, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    The robins and non-robins are singing their songs as well

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