The other day I was thrilled out of my mind to see the first robin of spring (I know, I lead an exciting life).
Robins around mean that spring is just that much closer! How can one not be happy? Of course, in Michigan, “spring” doesn’t always mean what it’s supposed to. As I write this, it is snowing (I’m not kidding. It’s March 29th and it’s 30 degrees and snowing).
The American Robin is the official State Bird of Michigan and are one of the most abundant birds in North America.
This is great for me because I love watching these guys. I realized my love for robins a few years ago when I was eating lunch outside. Some small woods hugs the outside of my work, and there was something making a huge ruckus in the leaves. I thought a dog was running through the woods, but it was only some robins bouncing around. I think it’s their lack of grace on the ground that makes them so fascinating.
Last summer I took my sketch book outside to draw some robins. I have observed that they often “lean” forward when they’re running, then will stop at a moment’s notice to stand up straight. Then they lean down again to move forward at a frenzied pace and the process repeats. They’re a lot of fun to sketch if they choose to sit still for two seconds (they won’t). I hesitate to call them clowns because I think clowns are evil and scary, but I’m sure you can understand the context that I’m referring to.
Robins often grace my bird bath, and they are a hoot to watch. They will jealously chase away any other bird who wants to visit while they’re there. Then they will precede to jump around and beat their wings until the entire contents of the bird bath are splashed onto the ground. Now they are happy and will fly away, clean as a whistle.
Their song is very distinctive, and they will often land on branches (just out of reach) to scold you and vocally tell you of their displeasure. They especially do this if I’m out walking my cat on a harness (yes, I do this; I can feel you all judging me). OR if you’re near their nest.
Speaking of nests, can we talk about Robin eggs?
NO, not THOSE eggs (although they are sinfully delicious). I am talking about THESE eggs:
LOOK AT THEM! Aren’t they amazing?
The color “Robin Egg Blue” was named after this color.
Did you ever wonder why their eggs are blue when they’re known for their red breasts? Weird. But who can question Mother Nature? No one, that’s who. Speaking of red breasts…
How gorgeous is this guy?
While robins are often described as “red-breasted”, the color on their breast is more referred to as orange. I still will call them red, I don’t care what “they” say. But I still did use both red and orange on the breast of the robin that I colored up above: sketched on paper, scanned in, and colored using Photoshop.
So what are your favorite things about spring? The warmer weather? The flowers? The return of the birds?
Whatever it is, I hope you are experiencing it and enjoying your spring. If you can, I recommend taking a sketch book outdoors; you never know if a critter will come by and strike a pose!