I saw two male robins on the Mount Mercy University campus today, and took it as a sign of spring.
Which is sort of is, but just not quite in the way I had thought.
I Googled “when do robins return to Iowa,” and two sources I read explained that, in our area of North America, robins don’t really leave during winter. They change their habits, move in larger flocks and scour the woods for fruit and aren’t seen by us city folk much. As the weather warms, the flocks break up, and you start to see robins more because the males are establishing their territories with which they plan to impress the ladies.
So the two male robins I saw at MMU aren’t exactly “returning” since they probably never left Iowa. But they are back on the hill, and it’s nice to see them, and the change in behavior is indeed a sign, in the second half of February, that, although winter still has plenty of power left, the new season is trying now and then to break through.
More late winter photos from today.