Nature has a multitude of advance signals it gives on the arrival of spring.
Every year, right before spring arrives, I start looking for the harbingers giving that advanced information. They are everywhere if you know where to look.
Remember my article about the buzzards (vultures) roosting on the house in Rising Sun? Well, vultures migrate like many other birds do.They simply weathered over here for a few months and now they're gone. The roofs are clear of buzzards. (Hopefully the shingles will be after a few spring showers.)
At the same time, it's time for the Buzzard's Dating Game. If you're on the highways of our Small Wonder and see vultures sitting on the ground, you can almost bet one is a female and the others are suitors. Vultures nest on the ground and they conduct most of their amorous business there as well.
Another black bird that comes back to Delaware in the spring is the pesky grackle. Redwinged blackbirds do migrate but many stay over while the grackles head south. I can tell spring is here to stay with the cacophany around my bird feeder at dawn. Grackles are messy eaters who scratch the corn and seeds out of the feeder to get to the sunflower seeds.
The most noticeable for folks who don't keep an eye on nature is the robin. Though some birds stay over, they stop their singing when the frost hits and simply squawk and chirp through the winter. When spring arrives, so does their melody. (By the way, robins actually sing in their sleep. After spring arrives, you can hear their songs repeated all night long if you listen closely.)
And just for you guys who're thinking about hunting black bears, I have a great video to watch with your family. It's made in Canada by a guy with a wry sense of humor. Sit back and enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=vJRDpTUIrJI&vq=medium