In New York City temperatures have reached into the fifties on the Fahrenheit scale today and they are predicted to do the same again tomorrow.  Spring is, of course, more than just one warm spell but as of today we are getting a full hour and twenty-nine minutes more daylight then we did on the winter solstice back in December.  The first day of spring in 2011 is 20 March, which means that we are just over a month from the official start of the best season for birders in the northern hemisphere.  I, for one, can’t wait!

I have to get up earlier and earlier to enjoy views of a sunrise like this from my balcony

Of course, if you have been paying attention to the natural world (and aren’t in a place where you are not familiar with the signs of spring) it is likely that you are well aware that spring is almost here.  For me, some Red-winged Blackbirds moving from treetop to treetop in my neighborhood earlier in the week was a surefire sign of spring, and the crocuses poking up through the ground in Central Park yesterday were another indication that the worm has turned.  I live in too urban a setting to get my own American Woodcocks peenting away but I am sure that someone out there has already heard their woodcocks.

crocus coming up in Central Park

Has spring started to spring where you are?  What is your way to tell that Old Man Winter is gone for the year?  And, as for those of you in the southern hemisphere, how are you coping with the coming cold?  I don’t even want to hear from you folks in the tropics…

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.