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Categorized | Outdoors

Signs of spring

Red-winged blackbird. Photo by Pamela Cooke

While the weather in March cannot seem to make up its mind, there are definitely signs of spring all around us.

Red-winged blackbird

Pamela Cooke, of Nelson Township, sent us this photo of a male red winged blackbird leaving one of her feeders. “My dad always said a red-winged blackbird is truly a sign that spring is on its way,” she said. And she’s right. According to learner.org, the red-winged blackbird, robins, earthworms, emerging leaves, and maple sap running, are all signs that spring is right around the corner. 

During February, red-wings that breed in Canada and the northern US are in the southern US, feeding on grain, putting on fat, and starting to migrate north. March is the peak male migration and when territorial behavior begins. Females arrive behind males. Thanks for the photo, Pamela!

Photo by Tia Powell


Last week we received a robin photo from Jennifer August, of Solon Township. This week we received one from Tia Powell, of Nelson Township. She said she spotted it near 18 Mile and Pine Lake. Thank you, Tia!

We know from Ranger Steve Mueller that certain robins may stay the winter. According to the Michigan State University Extension, The vast majority of robins do move south in the winter. However, some stick around—and move around—in northern locations. And not all robins that winter in Michigan will stay to nest and breed in the summer. Robins tend to move around in response to food rather than temperature. In the winter they eat fruit; when the ground starts to thaw, they eat earthworms and insects. They don’t come back because weather is warm; they come back because food is available (which often coincides with warmer weather).

Post photo by L. Allen.

Maple tree sap

Publisher Lois Allen took this photo of maple trees being tapped on 18 Mile near Tisdel last weekend. Each tap will produce about 10 gallons, enough for about a quart of pure Michigan maple syrup. 

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