“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.”
As spring (March 21st) dawned in the purply-pink sky, there was a perceptible shift in the air, urged on by the warmer spring weather. As we walked around the area and observed our surrounds, we were greeted by crowds in the trees, in the sky and on the ground; crowds of migratory birds who had returned here early to nest and raise their young.
Of course it was different when the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) came around in mid-February. The birds scattered to find warmth as it fell on the coldest weekend of the year with -20F temps and -40F wind chills. It was lonely and the trees were pretty bare. Now weeks later, the birds are showing up to usher in spring right on schedule….March 21st.
When we returned in early March from our trip out west, the weather had warmed a bit and the peepers were singing us to sleep. And when I walked around our pond, the first week of spring, I saw tadpoles swimming. The frogs are usually not long off. The first are usually the Northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens).
Prior to the new birds arriving, I noticed the Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) were pairing off and looking around for nesting sites.
And American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), along with various hawks, were seen gathering nesting materials. This crow was ripping bark from an old vine growing in the meadow.
Canada geese (Branta canadensis) were also returning, in droves, in mid-March, littering the skies on their way to the lake across the street.
And many blackbirds descended upon us as spring started….Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater), and Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula). A few Red-winged Blackbirds were back in February, but the raucous noise of the males returning to their nesting sites was a glad spring chorus in late March.
But I knew spring was here, when we heard the familiar banging on our front windows. Our female ‘crazy-toes’ American robin (Turdus migratorius) was back to claim her nesting site, our garden, for her third year. The banging meant she was back to fight the imaginary robins in our windows. You can read more about our journey with her here.
As I report on the events of the start of spring in March, April receded to winter with snow and cold. The robins were especially struggling, and you can read about their struggle here. They seem to have made it through and are now building their nest next door at the abandoned house.
So there you have some of our first spring visitors. I will update you on more spring critters next month….April warmed, and the critter activity has been busy! What signs of spring are you seeing in your area?
With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday. I am also linking in with with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.
I leave you with another thought about the lessons to learned from the singing birds. Feel free to download the photo and share.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-16. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.