This afternoon shortly before sunset we heard the call. Echoing across the snow and mud came the prehistoric warble marking the return of our long-legged friends with the red eyemask - the sandhill crane. (Hear the call yourself at the International Crane Foundation site. Awesome!)
Moments later we spotted a bundle of flitting figures caped in blue with their little organge cravats. These we'd seen sitting on the branches of a new pear tree in the front yard and in the catalpa. The bluebird, too, had come back.