The Birds Return

by Nancy Wurtzel on April 12, 2012

They are back.  Returning one-by-one, in small groups and in huge formations that cover the sky.  They fly, squawk, chirp, sing, soar, float on lakes, make family nests, occasionally fight and poop everywhere.

They are the Minnesota birds.  And, the ducks.  And, the geese.  And, the loons.  They are everywhere.

Yesterday, I came upon two adult robins with huge orange breasts.  They looked as though they could be birds created by Disney himself, so perfect, plump, colorful and captivating. Hoping along the ground, the robins simultaneously hunted for food and staked out their territory.  Quietly watching them, I was enthralled to be so close to these lovely, wild creatures.  Then someone nearby slammed a car door and they took flight with power and purpose.

Although not all of our days in Central Minnesota are warm or sunny — in fact, most are not — I know that spring is here.  The return of the birds is a sure sign that the seasons have changed and nature is coming out of its winter hibernation.

Soon it will be warm enough to sleep with a window open.  The birds will wake me up in the morning with their songs.

Damn them.  I have to remember to buy ear plugs.


*Image courtesy of Tim Zurowski

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1 Melanie April 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm

So glad to hear your birds are back. I enjoy birds so much.


We have a tiny species of brown bird that makes the loudest call ever to come from such a small body. Have to look up what he might be. So incredibly loud. Really. Luckily I have to get up early for work! Weekends I put in the earplugs!

We spotted a wren picking up cat hair from our doormat the other day– that’ll make a nest cozy.

2 paul fenlon April 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I’m really into my birds at the moment, 2 Blue Tits have moved into a box put up 4 years ago and I’m loving it. I also have a couple of Magpie’s and they are the bad boys, pure evil.
I only have 1 Robin, but he seems happy ( I don’t know how I know).
Keep writing.

3 Nancy Wurtzel April 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Ha! Love it…please keep reading!!

4 Tammy April 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I wake up every morning to the tweeting of my feathered friends. Except of course the crows, who are no friends of mine. Their cawing is usually done just outside my bedroom window and the chosen hour is customarily 6 a.m. I am not amused. Neither are my neighbors, as they often hear my screams of anger towards these birds and their racket. as irony would have it, the crows wake me, and I wake my neighbors. We all have something to dislike, don’t we? Here is sunny California the birds never leave and the singing continues year round. It’s a plus for this part of the country, as are the mild climates and the sunny days. But it’s the seasons that I miss. The ‘real’ seasons. Brisk autumn, a blast of cold with winter, a hint of warmth brings spring and sweltering heat warms the bones in the summer. Yes, I do miss it. Thankfully I still have the sweet little birds each and every day to remind me that I’m lucky enough to live in a place that welcomes them all year round.

5 Nancy Wurtzel April 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Hey, thanks for coming to read…most appreciated. Tweet, Tweet!

6 Olya Thompson April 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

What a lovely column about nature! It is always so exciting to see the return of birds in the spring. Unfortunately, in Manhattan, I do not see much of this, just a lot of pavement and concrete!

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