A hopeful sign

We know that one robin does not make spring, but…

Yes, we have Robin.

Turdus migratorius has migrated back.  The ground is still pretty hard, and much of it snow covered where I am, but… well.. they’ll figure something out.

The usual suspects are still here, of course.

American Goldfinch is getting a new coat.  The males are getting brighter.

I am not sure if the Redpolls will stay or not.  I am pretty sure there have been more then one sort of Redpoll here this winter.

This Redpoll is having an intense breakfast.

This one is all puffed up and having an power nap.

Pretty much motionless for the better part of 10 minutes now.  He looks around occasionally.

The House Finch is around and looking for an opening.

And I hadn’t seen this guy for a long time. 

A pair of the hated Sciurus had shown themselves, and a single Tamiasciurus, not seen for a long time, appeared yesterday.   This ""timber tiger" is living up to his reputation of being Spermophilus, as he stuffs his cheeks with seeds.  The birds on the ground scatter when he… she? … dashes in for another load.

The doves are now beginning to coo.  You can see how their colors help to hide them from hawks.

Meanwhile, the Redpoll is still napping.  Several of them are at it now, after eating.  They seem to like to sit along the edge of the snow in the sun.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Yippee! the promise of Spring with the sight of robins. They have been hoppin’ around here for a couple of weeks – what a cheery sight!

    [Great shots there, BTW. How do you snap those critters like that?]

    Father I guess the fox didn’t finish the rodents off after all.

    But they are sooooo cute!! Thieves and ransackers though they are.

  2. Collegeville reject says:

    Oh my gosh Fr.Z it looks like you took those picture in my backyard. I put up a Finch sock after seeing your site and I have never had so many birds in my backyard. I find it amazing how much Rome and Minnesota have in common (as far as climate goes, that is).

  3. Tom A. says:

    Father, are you saying the chipmunks gather, while the birds scatter. Where have I heard that before? Who is not with Me is against Me, perhaps?

  4. irishgirl says:

    Cool pictures, Fr. Z! Love the one of the puffed-up Redpoll.

    In my yard, I can hear the cardinals singing.

    Yay for spring!

  5. Jenny says:

    I remember as a young girl in school reading stories about the “first robin of spring.” I was excited to mark when I first saw a robin. It was that year when I realized: in the South, the robins never leave. I was quite disappointed then, but now I am glad about it.

  6. Ann says:

    Those birds really know how to catch some zzzz’s while soaking up the spring sunshine.

    I miss real seasons, the south is not my sort of place but here I am anyway….sigh.

  7. Ohio Annie says:

    Some of our doves winter over, forlorn in their little red rubber boots.

  8. Keep an eye on those puffy Redpolls. There have been reported outbreaks of Salmonella especially among the finch species this spring.


  9. saintinthemaking says:

    Our family (down here in VA) saw our first robin of the season just the other day. The doves and a couple others preceded him. When we saw a bird we didn’t recognize, I said, “Let’s look at Father Z’s website. He has the best pictures.”

  10. countertenor says:

    I’ve lived in the UK for many years but still miss the midwestern USA birds and their songs. This is a wonderful site with photos and songs of some of the best. It’s quite addictive!

    Cardinal: http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=3

    Robin: http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=1

    Mourning Dove: http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=7

    lots of others too.

  11. GOR says:

    Yes, we saw our first robins this week – though walking around in the woods instead of down in the field as usual. But with only the first inch or so of the ground thawed out, it’s probably slim pickings for them right now. We also had our first red-winged blackbird at the feeder yesterday. Spring can’t be far off!

  12. supertradmom says:

    Thank you for these adorable photos. We here in Missouri saw a redpoll last week on his way somewhere.
    We have had robins since the second week of January, but no finches as of yet. Heard an owl, several nights ago, however, and the frogs are “peeping”, as people say around here.

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