There are those who say spring returns with the robin's song or the first crocus blooms, while others espouse the woodcock's dance as their guide to the change of seasons. I have even heard of people who propose that February's salamander migrations or March's spring peeper calls are the first harbingers of spring, but as for me, I put my faith in the beginning of the cavity nesting season, specifically, that of the Eastern Bluebird.
I hadn't seen much of my resident bluebird pair this winter, and was a bit worried about them, but on March 1, I saw them inspecting their traditional nesting site, and even observed Papa doing a little wing-waving atop the nest box. Mama brought in the first few blades of grass just before our March 8-9 weekend snow storm, and then I lost sight of them.
This week, the nest seemed complete, but my Wednesday morning inspecting revealed only a soft grassy cup. Apparently, I came by a bit too early, as Thursday afternoon's check showed two perfect blue eggs. Knowing that bluebirds lay an egg each day until the clutch is complete, usually five eggs, I could calculate Day One as March 26.
That beats last year's record of March 27 for earliest first egg by one day (two, if you consider that this is a Leap Year.)
Today, three glowing eggs, future bluebirds, greeted me. Stay warm, little eggs. The world needs more bluebirds.