February always seems to fly by, even in this Leap Year!
We have added a few birds to the year list and this hairy woodpecker came to the bubbler. On warmer days, which we have thankfully had, birds get in to splash and bathe in the sunshine. The Carolina wren and tufted titmouse are often first in.
Nice days often precede a drop in temperatures and incoming snow. Here is how the garden looked early in the morning on 2/26 from my upstairs perch. Snow continued to fall, birds were hungry - there was a lot of activity.
Brown creepers, European starlings and dark-eyed juncos came in with the usual mix of birds.
Nature reveals itself in fine layers, almost like peeling an onion. Northern flickers fascinate as they seem to change from every angle viewed. From the back, one sees the heart shape on the head. From the side, there's the black mustache of the male. But from a full frontal view, wow, yellow feathers flash! It truly is a looker. Did you know that in the West, they are red-shafted, not yellow? Learn more about them by opening this page.
Birds are courting and pairing up. One of the red-shouldered hawks was checking out this old nest in an oak. Perhaps the birds may build it up, and refurbish it. The American crows have been seen carrying sticks to begin their own nests, and they sure harass the hawks at every chance.
On Leap Day, I saw this American robin settled into the leaves. It was early, which led me to think the bird had slept there, soothed by the calming sounds of the water in the stream bed.
March began with a lovely day, the high reached 69 degrees and spring was in the air. The wren was singing a new tune that I hadn't heard before. American goldfinches are molting, yet blend in so easily with soft yellows and dull greens of Christmas fern and mossy rocks.
Surely, you recognize the cheery song of the Northern cardinals, who've begun chasing other males to prove their fitness? As spring arrives, it will bring more of our migrant birds. Cornell Lab has a FREE app that will help you identify birds in your own area on any given day! What a great idea to get a leg up on learning about our beautiful native birds!