Contrary to centuries of popular folklore, the robin is not a reliable sign of spring in most of the world. Hardy and unconcerned with the cold, robins have been known to remain straight through New England winters and to leave breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra not because the temperatures dropped, but only when food supplies grew scarce.

The red-winged blackbird, whose migration is as regular as clockwork, should be our harbinger of spring. But somehow, the robin manages to hold on to his title year after winter-weary year.

In this video lesson, we will use the wonderful textural qualities of pen and ink to draw fledgling robins, just at the brink of flight. Baby birds are fun to draw, because they are so angular and awkward. And all baby birds — robins and otherwise — are wonderful indicators that spring is well and truly here.

Watch the video all the way through and print the illustrated pdf pages before you begin. Happy drawing!

Click to open pdf pages:

If you liked this video, let me know! Email me at to be added to my mailing list. Suggestions for future drawing topics are always welcome, too!