American robins, bobbing in the Bitterroot


The sighting of many bird species returning to the Bitterroot represents spring, however, one species stands out as the true indicator, the American robin.

My first 2019 sighting of this American symbol was March 15, when I observed two adult males perched in the barren branches of a cottonwood tree. Soon these birds will be singing their beautiful melody that peaks early in the morning just before first light, especially where robins tend to flock in tall pine trees.

So why has this birds become such a symbol of spring? Perhaps it’s because of a Russian-born early American singer/songwriter, Al Jolson, who was struck by the jovial nature of the bird and its song. The famous 1926 lyrics best describe the arrival of robins and how our mood is lifted when we hear the melody of the robin’s song. Listen to it on YouTube sung by Bing Crosby in the 1940s.

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Teller Wildlife Refuge