Feb 19, 2016 | Featured Web Article

Our Favorite Signs of Spring—by the Bird Watcher's Digest staff

Robins are often considered the first sign of spring, but not all robins leave their home range in winter. Their appearance is not necessarily a sign of spring. The song is a rich, slightly hoarse warble: cheery-o, chrulee, cheery-up!
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We've always had one or more birders on staff here at BWD and we've also been fortunate to have many staff members who are interested in nature and the outdoors, if not specifically focused on birds. Here in southeastern Ohio, where our offices are located, February is one of those winter months that can really make you long for spring. So this morning we went around the office to ask everyone his or her favorite sign of spring. Here's what we learned:

Elsa Thompson, founding publisher: "I really love hearing the Carolina wrens in my backyard tuning up! I like to think that these wrens are descended from the pair that nested in our garage back in 1978 when we started Bird Watcher's Digest right here in this same house."

Bill Thompson, III, editor and co-publisher: "The red-shouldered hawks are breaking sticks off the trees behind the BWD offices, so I know they're already getting busy with nesting somewhere nearby!"

Laura Thompson, circulation/marketing director: "When I see the crocuses coming up in the flower beds in front of the office, I know that spring is nearly here!"

Ann Kerenyi, controller: "An end to all these snow days, so my kids can get back to school!"

Wendy Clark, advertising/events director: "I've been hearing a pair of great horned owls hooting behind my house at night. It's so cool, but also kind of eerie. But definitely a sign of spring!"

Dawn Hewitt, managing editor: "When I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, I could hear the woodcocks peenting in a field behind my backyard. That field has now been developed, so no more woodcocks there, but it has long been my favorite harbinger of spring. I look forward to hearing the 'timberdoodles' this spring here in Ohio!"

Kyle Carlsen, data and accounts manager: "I heard the tufted titmice singing like crazy this morning as I arrived at work. That's a good sign of spring whether you live in town or in the wooded countryside."

Melody Carpenter, BWD Nature Shop: "I like that the days are getting longer! Those short winter days are depressing. I'm looking forward to the longer days of spring and summer."

Amy Sole, fulfillment director: "I know it's not really a sign of spring, but I like seeing all the robins in my yard when the weather warms up."

Alan Rollins, controller/IT director: "Easter lilies are my favorite sign of spring!"

Mollee Brown, marketing and web assistant: "A big sign of spring for me is seeing pairs of redtails. At my house or on the road, I love watching out for their spectacular acrobatics in the air."

Katherine Koch, webmaster: "My sign of spring is the increased birdsong in the mornings. At my parents' house, every spring there is a robin that sings persistently and loudly outside the bedroom windows at 5 a.m. My dad always called him the 'little bastard.' Every time I hear robins in the spring, I can't help but laugh!"





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  • Hi Gary, I will pass your question along to Birdsquatch next time I see him. He knows infinitely more about nocturnal wildlife than I do. Where do you live? That's pretty important in figuring out the answer. But the thief could be raccoons, deer, or flying squirrels. Do you live in the woods? Are there trees near your feeder, or must the culprit climb a shepherd's hook or pole? Dawn Hewitt, Watching Backyard Birds
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