At 6:30 this morning, I heard a Robin sing! It was tentative, like practice for later in the spring. But there it was: Ten seconds of real Robin song! This despite a temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve forgotten (or never knew) what American Robins sound like, go here for a recording. (You’ll need Quicktime to hear it on your computer.)
In our part of the world, Robins are a conditional sign of spring. They’re in Oak Park in small numbers all winter long, eating fruits from ornamental trees. It seems the best Robin sign of spring is not their presence, but their behavior. When they gather on lawns in large numbers, seeking worms, then spring’s almost official. After freezing my fingers on recent birding expeditions, I’m also encouraged to hear their songs.