Don’t put too much stock in a groundhog predicting the coming of spring. For that matter, don’t bet on the appearance of certain birds either. The start of spring is still more than a month away but some Iowans are spotting red-breasted robins, bobbing in their yards. Rick Hollis, of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union, says he’s already spied plenty of the feathered signs of spring, pecking around in Iowa City, counting around 30 robins in his back yard last weekend. He says they weren’t eating frozen plums, they were hopping along, probing in the grass.Hollis says plenty of robins live in Iowa year-round so seeing a few flocks doesn’t guarantee spring’s upon us, or will be soon. Hollis says he usually gauges the arrival of spring by the sight of red wing blackbirds, though he sees those birds and robins in January sometimes, too. Hollis says people are perhaps a bit overcome by wishful thinking if they believe the sight of robins means we’re done with snow. Besides, the snow curse still looms over the girls’ state basketball tournament, which opens March 7th. Legend has it there’s usually one more big snowstorm every season, striking during the tourney.
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