|Posted on April 21, 2015 at 1:25 PM|
According to the calendar, spring has been here for a while.
Then again, according to the calendar there should not be a single snowflake in my front yard.
In spite of the snow, birds must make it to their breeding grounds. No point in risking a generation because they don't want to get their feet wet. In fact, this year's migration is in full swing in the southern states, and the ambitious males of many species are arriving in Massachusetts. The early migrants of many species that breed here have come, including Chipping Sparrows, blackbirds, and the phoebes that nest under my deck. Of course, I have been kept busy with my new camera, and I am excited to share the first results.
Song Sparrows are out, and one of the first species to announce their territory in song.
Pine Warblers are usually the first warblers to arrive, their sweet trills piercing a crisp April morning.
The Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets have arrived, and they command the marsh with their slow, deep wingbeats and low croaks.
The Rusty Blackbird, named for its rusty-hinge call, is found in large flocks for a few weeks in early spring before it leaves for the north.
The Fox Sparrow, our second largest sparrow, is similar to the Rusty Blackbird in that it is here briefly in spring before receding to the boreal forests of northern Canada.
Raptors are also on migration, like this Red-tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture, respectively.
Although year-round, Black-capped Chickadees are very active in spring, their soft fee-bee songs coasting the morning breeze.
Juncos have stayed surprisingly long this year, due to the snow. They are usually far north by now.
A surprise Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been staying around my place, drilling tell-tale holes to drain sap from trees.
Of course, amidst all the bird activity, there's always time to stop for a mammal or two. The world would be boring, albeit diverse, were there just birds.
Now, I'll leave you with a Golden-crowned Kinglet. They're the smallest bird we have barring hummingbirds, and they have speed to make up for it! This one was foraging on the forest floor.
I am having a blast this spring, and I hope you enjoy these first-fruits of my labor!
Text and photos subject to copyright by Davey Walters, 2015.