Many clues telegraph the arrival of Spring. The absence of snow, for instance.
This year, it seemed an inordinately long wait for that clue to drop.
At home, the season’s arrival is unambiguously announced by the multitude of very fat robins taking up residence in the suburban forest surrounding the house. Not a thickly developed forest, mind you. But enough trees to accommodate a fair number of flyers.
The announcement’s absence of ambiguity is the noisy pounding the robins do on the very large expanses of glass my house possesses.
They hammer away – at the front (glass) door, multiple picture windows, sidelight that otherwise floods the foyer with sunshine and the side (glass) door.
The behavior, as was explained to me by someone with absolutely no credentials in bird behavior, is caused by the robins’ seeing their reflection in the glass. The birdbrains interpret the vision as a competitor for nesting space and mates, and respond with an urge to assert territoriality.
Pretty complicated for such a small bird.
Nonetheless, these robins launch themselves from nearby perches and hammer away at the windows. Beginning at 5 a.m.; these early birds prefer glazing to worms.
As though the noise wasn’t quite enough, they leave other, clear evidence of their behavior. Considerable bird beak snot.
It is pointless to clean the windows while all this is going on.
Somehow, I resist the urge to clean and polish the glass. Frankly, it does take strength.
On the way to work, another set of bird behaviors signals Spring. Recently, one morning, while walking in to the office, I nearly stepped on a duck (or maybe it was a mallard, if there’s a difference). He was taking a nap in a puddle located in the middle of the sidewalk.
Geez. It’s 6:30 a.m., after all. What of the worms? All safe, apparently, that day.
A couple residing near the office busy themselves with nest-making. The male leads the female around from one location to another. I’m sure there’s a strategy he’s following; or maybe it’s just that there’s no gas station at which to ask directions.
Finally, when just the right place is found (this year, under the branches of an evergreen), they switch roles. Now she bosses him around.
No one seems to mind. Someone’s got to be in charge.
Now don’t get me started about the woodpeckers!
And the livin’ is easy . . .