American Robins and the Vernal Equinox

by Larry Jordan on March 20, 2012

My Spring Yard (Click on photos for full sized images)

There are two equinoxes every year, in March and September, when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. The seasons are opposite on either side of the equator, so the equinox in March is also known as the “spring or vernal equinox” in the northern hemisphere and the “fall or autumnal equinox” in the southern hemisphere.

Today marks the first full day of Spring here in Northern California and the trees are leafing out making it once again more difficult to locate and photograph birds.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) photos by Larry Jordan

My new Pygmy Goat kids are certainly loving it though 😉

Out in the pasture, along with the goats, there were fifteen or more American Robins hunting for worms.

They are known to be the classic harbinger of Spring and this increasing flock seems to be right on time.

I watched as they hunted earthworms in the soil softened from days of rain. They scoured the ground and would stop and cock their heads (above), presumably detecting their prey in the grass. Then they would plunge their beak into the earth…

and sometimes come up with a wiggling earthworm treat…

which they seem to swallow rather quickly.

I used the watch and wait (or Big Sit) technique while photo hunting these robins. All I do is sit in one place until the birds come to me.This fellow just kept coming closer until he filled the frame.

Look at those skinny legs!

They did scarf up quite a few earthworms while I was watching.

For more great bird photos from around the world, go check out World Bird Wednesday and come join in the fun!

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