Red-winged Blackbird Heralds Return of Spring

Spring has spung, the grass has riz
I wonder where the birdies is?

Anonymous (and probably with good reason)

Red-winged blackbird photoFor me, one of the first signs of spring is the Red-winged Blackbird.

It’s a familiar summer visitor in Michigan and can easily be identified by its scarlet and yellow wing stripes.  The bird is about the size of a robin and arrives early in our state, often before  the snow has completely melted and just as the first green shoots are stirring from their winter slumber.

I saw the blackbird for the first time this season at our place in Harrison, Michigan this weekend, or should I say I heard one.  I never did glimpse the bird that was sitting somewhere in the cattail rushes at the west end of our two-acre pond.  I heard its call as I was walking out onto the ice, just a moment or so before I fell through the surface into the pond’s frigid knee-deep water.

Thin ice: that’s another way I knew spring would soon arrive.

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Categories: ecology, Home life | Tags: | Leave a comment

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