As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, everyone in Michigan starts to look for signs that spring is on its way. 

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One of the most exciting signs is the return of the Red-Winged Blackbird.

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Credit: Canva
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These birds are not just pretty to look at with their shiny black feathers and bright red and yellow shoulder patches; they also bring a special song that tells us warmer days are coming.

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Credit: Canva
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Where Do Red-Winged Blackbirds Live In The Winter

Red-Winged blackbirds travel a long way to get back to Michigan.

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Credit: Canva
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They spend the winter in warmer places and then fly back when it's time for spring.

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Credit: Canva
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When you see them perched on top of cattails or hear their "conk-la-ree!" song, you know that they have just finished a big trip and that spring is just around the corner

Robins Don't Mean That Spring Is Here

I always thought that seeing a robin means spring is here, but robins can be tricky.

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Even though they are a sign of spring, some robins stay in Michigan all year. They hide in groups in the trees during the winter, so we don't see them as much. 

But the Red-Winged Blackbird is different.

They are the first birds to return to Michigan in the spring.

The males come first, and they are easy to spot with their bold colors.

They sing loudly from trees and wetlands, telling everyone that it's time for spring.

Now If you don't see a Red-Winged Blackbird near you don't worry, spring officially arrives in Michigan on Tuesday March 19th.

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