Robins start chirping before dawn this week. Here are a few of my daybook entries about that milestone in the progress of the year:
March 7, 2012: I went out a little after seven this morning to see if I could hear the first of the robin chorus. The moon was round and golden, setting between the trees due south, and the air was mild. At 7:20, I heard a faint twittering of birds, and then a few minutes later, it became clear that this was indeed the robin chorus just starting. From a distant chirping, the sound became louder and louder as the flock came into song right in the yard.
March 10, 2010: At 7:15 this morning, the robin chorus was already underway, the crescent moon rising, temperature just below freezing.
Working in the garden later in the afternoon, I saw that the rhubarb had pushed through the mulch just a little and the peony stalks were barely visible in the places the snow had gone.
March 10, 2013: Waiting again this year for robins, I heard them clearly at 7:17, cardinals at 7:25, sparrows at 7:30, crows at 7:35. The full morning chorus was underway on schedule. Snowdrops all nodding and most of them open, seventeen violet snow crocus in bloom in the east garden, along the very first yellow crocus.
Will the robins sing this year? Of course.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of early spring. In the meantime, of course, listen for the robins right around 7:20 EDT.
Thursdays at noon between March 20 and April 24, Bill Felker will be the moderator of a seminar at the University of Dayton entitled “The Inner Landscape,” discussions about his Poor Will's Almanack readings on WYSO. For more information, call the Special Programs office at the University of Dayton, (937)229-2605.