First Robin of Spring
Ever since I can remember, I have looked for the first robin in the spring. For me, it has always signalled the official beginning of the spring season. Each place I have lived I have always seen the first robin in the same spot every year. In this house, it is in my neighbor's yard. I think that is because my kitchen door faces that way. I usually see it on my way out to the car as I leave for work. It is always a single robin.
This year, which has been exceptional in so many ways, was very different. I saw seven robins while I was walking in the park this morning at dawn. There was a flock of six and then a seventh a little further on leading me to wonder what he had done that the other robins were not speaking to him.
I did a little research and was surprised to learn that robins spend the winter here. The reason they aren't seen in their usual haunts is that their diet varies with the seasons. During the warm months, they eat mainly insects like grubs from the lawns. During the winter when insects are not available, they eat berries. They don't eat seeds which is why I have never seen them at my feeder.
I'm glad to see the robins are "back" but I'm also a little disappointed to have discovered that they never left. Some of the magic of the return of the robins is gone.