Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Harbingers of Spring

For a couple of weeks, I have been keeping my eye out for the return of the red-wing blackbirds.  Early, I know, but, with much warmer than usual temperatures in February, I was really starting to think spring.  As is my habit, on my drive into work, I began to scan the roadsides where I've seen red-wing blackbirds staking their claim in the past few years.  Normally, I don't start looking in mid-February though.  For the past two weeks, I'd yet to see one, then, this morning before leaving for work, I looked out the window into the back yard, and there were about half a dozen male red-wings feeding on the black oil sunflower seeds I put out!  It made my day.

I had forgotten that we had a little snow overnight.  Just a coating...but still...

In my mind, spring is really here--I was taught that the males come first to stake out their territory, then in two weeks the females arrive...along with spring!

My mood was only slightly dampened by seeing a European starling along with them.  Even that couldn't dampen my spirits.


Rebecca said...

Glad to see you posting again, David! It's been a bit chilly here for walks most days, but I will start looking for blackbirds.

Ellen Honeycutt said...

So nice! I've never seen one.

David said...

Thank you, Rebecca. I'm hoping to keep up with it--it is hard to believe that I've probably already posted more this year than I did last year!

We've had some warm weather off and on, but the past two days that I've spent so much time outside (and loved it!) were only hovering around 40, I think.

Yes, keep your eyes open for them. I hope it warms up for you and that you spot one before too long.

David said...

Ellen, they seem to prefer wetlands and open spaces--I used to think of them in association with cattails...but I think I've seen them in a farm/country setting as well.

I hope you will get to see one before too long. Scan the side of the road near prime habitats early spring--that is where I often see them perched. When competition for females begins, they will start to flash their epaulets--red with a line of yellow.