A certain sign that you're connected with where you live is if you know where the local birds are nesting. I've been hearing a pair of Bushtits around the house the last few days (part of the flock that mobbed the suet over the winter—imagine 30 or more birds trying to fit on a single suet block), and there's a Robin pair hanging around the side yard a lot lately. Sue, the next door neighbor, tells me the Bewick's Wren has been looking over one of her birdhouses lately. A couple years ago we were eating dinner on the patio, and I looked up into the plum tree over the table, and a Robin on a nest was looking back at me.
In the last two days I've found nests, not by the house, but down at the Fill. Yesterday I observed two Bushtits just starting construction of their elaborate woven hanging nest in the fork of a poplar. They had the two branches clothed in grass and moss, but hadn't connected them yet. This morning I nearly stepped on a Mallard hen, who made a hasty getaway from my boot, and found a clutch of a dozen pale eggs hidden under a shelter of blackberry brush and last fall's grass.
It is Spring. The fervent moment is here. Here is my favorite poster, Connie, on our birding listserv (Tweeters) on the subject: