Outdoors Column: Confused Birds

My column last week dealt with my observation, I thought all the birds in North America had gone to Texas, and most of them to Houston. This was proven wrong on Sunday when we were invaded with robins.

The temperature on Sunday got up into the fifties and the sun was shining brightly. My wife glanced at one of the big oak trees in the yard and exclaimed, “Look at the birds!” When I looked up, the tree was covered with robins. I walked to the window and saw the ground was also covered. There were hundreds, if not thousands of robins everywhere we looked. It was a very strange sight. Much of the snow had melted but a robin could hop around all day and not find a worm on the still frozen ground. I am not sure what they were doing but can only assume they were migrating. The question is, on the second day of February, were they early at heading north or late going south. Neither seems plausible. If they have been farther north and just now going south, I think they would have starved to death before now. If they have been in the south and decided now is a good time to go north, I think they are mistaken. One warm day does not mean spring is here.

Knowing warm days in February are a rarity, I decided to go for a ride around the woods in the Ranger. When Billie saw my intentions, he insisted on going along. A happy and rambunctious dog bouncing about the cab did not make driving on very slippery trails an easy job. I put the Ranger in four-wheel drive and was still barely able to make gradual hills. The melting slush of snow and water made some trails impassable. We cut short our ride before I got someplace where I could not get out. I do not mind going for a hike in the woods, but I prefer to not leave vehicles behind.

My wife and I spent much of the afternoon soaking up the rare winter warmth and sunshine on the porch while playing ball with the dog. All three of us enjoyed the time being able to be outdoors and not freezing. When Billie finally wound down and found a sunny place in the corner of the porch to take a nap, the robins returned. We are still not sure if they are coming or going but they were enjoying the warm February day as much as we were.

Dog Tired Billie