Robin activity has picked up in the neighborhood. A few days ago, before the last Great Snow of 2014 (if rumor has it, not yet the last--sigh), an entire flock was fluttering up and down a front yard slope on a nearby street: some with an ear cocked toward the ground, perhaps hoping for early worms; some tugging at dried grasses; some bickering with each other over choice pieces of territory (indistinguishable to my untrained human eyes). They were making a lot of noise, indicating a possible return of their usual springtime rambunctiousness.
Today brought an even more hopeful sign of spring: a very colorful robin scratching in the mulch under the serviceberry. He or she (I'm no good at determining robin gender) was kicking up quite a lot of shredded hardwood and gazing intently at the ground. Eventually, the bird located just the right piece of dried vegetation from the mix and took off. Could it be--nest-building time?