On the way home this evening I spotted 4-5 bluebirds near the road. I even stopped the car to get out and check, as the pinyon jays have also reappeared in the last few weeks and both birds are blue. But based on their size, flight pattern, and pure saturated color, I think these were the first bluebirds of Spring. I’ll keep an eye out for the next week, for sure.
A note on robins: while it is conventional wisdom that they are harbingers of the season, changing habitats have led some robins to over-winter in colder climates, including Billings. I’ve been watching a flock of robins out at Cove Canyon all winter. I did spy a robin with a particularly brilliant red breast this last weekend, though, so perhaps that was Springtime plumage?