American Robins and the Vernal Equinox

by Larry 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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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

TexWisGirl March 20, 2012 at 7:18 am

lovely signs of spring. your goat is too cute!
TexWisGirl´s last post ..Sleek, chic, and sneaky

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EG CameraGirl , Canada March 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

I love seeing robins this time of year. :)
EG CameraGirl , Canada´s last post ..Greater Scaups/World Bird/Nature Notes

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HansHB March 20, 2012 at 8:48 am

A great post! Lovely pictures!
Happy WBW to you!

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Carletta March 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

First of all your backyard is lovely!
Forget the groundhog I look for that first robin to gauge spring. This year they returned on February 24.
Great shots of the worm hunting robins!
Today though I think that little Pygmy kid is stealing the show! :)
Carletta´s last post ..Up Close With Chickweed

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Boom & Gary March 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

They’re here now also, those incrdible harbingers of spring!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
Boom & Gary´s last post ..More Strange Happenings On the West Side Of The Vermilon River. A Post to MWT and WBW.

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Pat March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

I love to hear the Robins singing in the morning. Your baby goat is so cute – he looks like a toy!
Pat´s last post ..Me and My Shadow

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Ken Schneider March 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

I miss those robins. This winter I only saw ONE in my South Florida neighborhood.

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fjällripan March 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

Beautiful birds and your goat is just so lovely!!
fjällripan´s last post ..Orrar…

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Mick March 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Great photos. I like the idea of watching and waiting for the birds to come to you. The kid is cute!
Mick´s last post ..NZ Birds

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Eileen March 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Love the robin photos and the goat is just adorable.
Eileen´s last post ..Le Conte’s Sparrow

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Larry March 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

@Theresa thanks. We love our Pygmy Goats!

@CG I look forward to seeing them too

@Hans thanks for coming by with a comment

@Carletta thank you very much and I agree about the kid taking all the glory ;-)

@Gary glad to hear it!

@Pat I love hearing all the birds voices in the morning. My kids are very cute huh?

@Ken wow, only one robin. Weird.

@Suzanne thanks

@Mick I find the watch and wait technique works pretty well most of the time ;-)

@Eileen thank you!

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springman March 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Yeah, I love it when the bird fills the frame too, that just doesn’t happen enough. Such detail. I kind of like it that our robins are so independant of our feeders yet so close at hand. Your back yard is rockin’!

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joo March 21, 2012 at 1:31 am

What a lovely collection of photos! Pygmy Goat is so cute!!!
joo´s last post ..Peacock Island in Berlin

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Tatjana Parkacheva March 21, 2012 at 8:06 am

Beautiful photos.

Regards and best wishes

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Barb March 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thanks for you kind comments on my blog.

I love what you’re doing with this blog and you have some great pics. I spotted a little group of Western Bluebirds near my house in the SoCal high desert last week. I don’t know if it’s unusual for this area or my eye is being trained to see what was there all along, lol!

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Dawn Fine March 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Howdee Larry! Happy Spring to you! The Pygmy is sooooo cute!

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Larry March 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

@Dave I agree those full framed shots don’t happen often enough but I think that just makes us appreciate them that much more. About my yard, thanks, I love my yard ;-)

@Joo thank you. The kid is a cutie huh?

@Tatjana thanks!

@Barb thank you very much. I just found your other blog too and you have some beautiful photos and posts there also.

@Dawn happy Spring to you too! I miss you and Jeff. When are you coming back out West?

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Kathiesbirds March 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

The robins are nice but I just love that baby goat!
Kathiesbirds´s last post ..A Contrast of Birds WBW

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MB March 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Love those rascally Robins. They are here in droves (or flocks) too. Some stay year-round but a huge influx in March. A genuinely happy bird. MB
MB´s last post ..The Mighty Merlin

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Wanda March 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Love the Robins, but that adorable baby goat grabbed my attention and kept it!
Wanda´s last post ..Excavating a Nest

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Ingrid March 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I do love Robins, but I just keep coming back to the Pygmy Goat. Yep, stealing the show for sure.
Ingrid´s last post ..How Do You Feel About Wing Tags?

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Terri Lhuillier April 8, 2012 at 1:13 am

Hi Larry!
It was great seeing you the other day! Did you get any good eagle photos? Here’s the link to our facebook page for The Friends of the Redding Eagles…
http://www.facebook.com/#!/FriendsOfTheReddingEagles

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