Spring has sprung! What nature-lover doesn't like to engage in a friendly little competition with their friends and family each year over who sees the first robin?
Bird lovers often keep detailed notes year to year comparing when the first robin was seen and hypothesize why they were early or late. I remember one cold, snowy New Year's Day in the concrete and limestone of downtown Joliet, I was shocked to see crabapple trees loaded with robins munching away on the frosty fruits.
Naturalists have a mental checklist running year-round: