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New Bird Arrivals: These Are the Birds You Should Look Out for As Spring Approaches

Aside from daffodils emerging through the soil and extra minutes of sunlight, another early sign of spring is the return of some of our feathered friends. Some migratory birds fly in to get back to the business of nesting and breeding- and some are even around already. Here are birds that are considered harbingers of spring.

Common Loon

The common loon belongs to the category of those super early spring birds that we’re already spotting in the sky. Although some loons may spend time here during winter or even summer, we don’t see them until migration season.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Generally, the loons breed in the Northern U.S. and Canada and spend their winter along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Common loons are often spotted in northern Will County.

Sandhill Crane

Although a small number of sandhill cranes breed in northern Illinois, the majority of them just pass through on migration. Their spring migration starts around mid-April; they don’t often land, but their calls can be heard from over two miles away.

Courtesy: eBird

Seeing sandhill cranes is a clear signal that spring is approaching. However, these birds don’t only pass through spring. After their spring migration, sandhills pass through again in fall, around mid-September and mid-November. 

American Robin

While American robins don’t totally disappear during winter, we don’t often see them in our yards until spring is approaching. Many local robins migrate south for winter, and others just stick around all year.

Courtesy: eBird

As spring approaches and the temperatures become warmer, we start seeing American robins in the grass. We don’t see them often in the colder months as they often overwinter together in forests.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Just as the name suggests, sapsuckers consume sap from trees by drilling small holes, although they eat insects, too. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers start showing up around April and May, signaling the arrival of spring.

Courtesy: eBird

Aside from spring, these birds also pass through during September and October as they head south in the fall. These woodpeckers are hardly seen in other seasons- and that’s why seeing them is a clear spring (or fall) signal.

Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole can be found across the Eastern United States and as far west as Montana. There is a high chance that you will hear this beautiful bird before you even see it, as it has a sweet whistle.

Courtesy: eBird

You just have to leave orange halves and jelly out in your yard to see these birds in March or early April. When you see their orange and black colors, you just know spring has come– they are sure harbingers.

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