It's finally here! Signs of Spring 3-20-17

March 20, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This mercurial month has finally given way to Spring.  We have been watching the daily changes in the American Goldfinches, their plumage transitioning to brighter hues of yellow even as snowflakes fell.

 

American Goldfinch 3-8-17American Goldfinch 3-8-17 American Goldfinch in snow 3-11-17American Goldfinch in snow 3-11-17

 

The birds took the snow in stride as the temperature plummeted to 13.3 degrees here on Wednesday, 3-13-17.  This Tufted Titmouse made frequent trips to the feeders.

 

Tufted Titmouse 3-13-17Tufted Titmouse 3-13-17

 

By the next morning, the little bird was singing loud and clear, "Peter, Peter, Peter!"  What a difference a day makes.

 

Tufted Titmouse singing 3-14-17Tufted Titmouse singing 3-14-17

 

These two Carolina Wrens have not only been singing, but have been seen in locked combat over territorial rights to the woodland.  We may have two families of wrens if they can negotiate a truce.

 

Carolina Wren male south woods 3-16-17Carolina Wren male south woods 3-16-17 Carolina Wren male west woods 3-16-17Carolina Wren male west woods 3-16-17

 

The busiest season of the year has begun for nesting birds.  One Carolina Chickadee was bathing when suddenly its mate brought a morsel of moth to strengthen the little bird for the duties ahead.  This pair-bonding behavior is another sign of Spring!

 

Carolina Chickadee 3-16-17Carolina Chickadee 3-16-17 Carolina Chickadee pair bonding with moth  3-16-17Carolina Chickadee pair bonding with moth 3-16-17 Carolina Chickadee pair bonding with moth  3-16-17Carolina Chickadee pair bonding with moth 3-16-17

 

Two Brown Creepers came in together on 3-16-17 looking for food on different trees.

 

Brown Creeper #1 3-16-17Brown Creeper #1 3-16-17 Brown Creeper #2 3-16-17Brown Creeper #2 3-16-17

 

Hormones are surging as temperatures warm again, and birds are getting testy about bathing rights, too.  Males want to look their best.  After a quick bath, the chickadee is chased out by the robin.  So, it puffs up to gather courage and reclaim some space in the basin.

 

American Robin and Carolina Chickadee 3-17-17American Robin and Carolina Chickadee 3-17-17 Carolina Chickadee 3-17-17Carolina Chickadee 3-17-17 American Robin and Carolina Chickadee 3-17-17American Robin and Carolina Chickadee 3-17-17

 

There are birds larger than robins looking for nesting materials.  A pair of American Crows have started a nest in a pine tree a couple yards to the west.  One of the crows came in to find some sticks and tugged on a small tree.  Better luck next time.

 

American Crow 3-17-17American Crow 3-17-17 American Crow 3-17-17American Crow 3-17-17

American Crow 3-17-17American Crow 3-17-17

American Crow 3-17-17American Crow 3-17-17

 

Our native plants are tough when it comes to surviving such temperature swings.  The Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum) is a good example.  Here it is before and after the hard freeze.  

 

Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum) in bloom 3-9-17Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum) in bloom 3-9-17 Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum) after six nights of hard freeze, one at 13.3 degrees 3-17-17Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum) after six nights of hard freeze, one at 13.3 degrees 3-17-17

 

It has been nice to be outside weeding while the fragrance of this beautiful shrub wafts my way.  Happy Spring!  

 

 


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