Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring- and so do the birds!

Spring can't be too far away. All eyes were upon Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog soothsayer) as we collectively "held our breath" and waited to see if he saw his shadow. He didn't- so it's settled. An early spring is around the corner.Yay!

But there are other hopeful signs: Robins. Last week I saw my first robin "sunning" outside my office window.

Although we've been walloped with waves of snow and ice (again!)- our red-breasted songbird buddies are making their presence known.

One brave robin gingerly hopped onto the roof shingles, inches away from my window, and stared me down. Two, then three, soon a bird herd joined in and decided to use our puddling water to enjoy a quick Arctic bath and gulp down a coolata.

I thought (at least until late Feb/March) that robins are supposed to be sunning in some nice, warm locale, sipping mojitos and enjoying balmy breezes. But they're back!

A bit of research revealed that the American Robin or North American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a songbird of the thrush family and enjoys a wide range throughout North America.

In winter, they usually assemble in large flocks at night and roost in trees or dense vegetation. But during the day, the flock breaks up into smaller numbers as they search for berries, fruit or if spotted, make a bee-line to fermented Pyracantha berries. Yep- you guessed it. If they goggle down enough, our intoxicated feathered friends will stagger around and sometimes fall over... (Hey, it's their coping mechanism for bearing the bitter cold!)

So, welcome back little buddies. I can't wait to see your spindly legs running across the green grass, singing your little hearts out. Chirp!


(Groundhog & robin photos credit Wikipedia Commons)`

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