Are you fascinated by birds, their ability to escape the confines of earth with flight, their marvelous color patterns and not in the least, their song?

Have you complied a life list over the years? What are your favorites among those birds you have seen and heard?

Having watched and studied birds most of my life and compiled a substantial life list from various parts of the country and beyond, I have my favorites amongst the group and they are now prominently displayed on the wall in my great room as seen on the right.

It might even be fun to include your state bird in the center of that group. I am in the process of including all the state birds in my collection. Enter the gallery by clicking on any of the images or on the gallery link above, and see what you like.

A Change in the Seasons

Well, it’s the end of March here in New England.  In my opinion, it is about the uglest time of year what with all the dirty snow along the roadsides.  As the frost leaves the ground, there is mud everywhere the snow has melted and with a  constant change in temperatures from cold, blustery, snowy days to clear blue skies, warmth from the rising sun, one never knows what to expect.  As a result, all our thoughts are anxiously awaiting the coming of spring.  A sure sign is the return of the red-winged blackbirds, followed by the occasional common grackle, another blackbird.  The red-wing’s “conk-kra-rhee” announcement of his arrival is music to my ears.  A lone song sparrow has also been hoping about on the frozen brown lawn grass, yet to announce his presence with his wonderful song.  The chickadees are advertizing their presence with their singular two-note song as they divy up territories in which to raise their young.  The ever present turkeys are beginning to turn their thoughts to spring as well.  The toms are struting about in all their finery, gobbling to the hens who are still totally uninterested in the boys.  

Signs of Spring:  We are now working our way through the middle of April.  Our huge snow pack which we thought would never melt has finally lost its grip on the land.  Within a few short days of sun and warmer temperatures, the stuff is all but gone.  For several weeks now, the spring birds have been returning.  I have kept track of the arrivals each spring since 2000 and the birds pretty much arrive on or about the same day every year.  (Must be an internal calendar that signals their return to the northern hemisphere). 

This is the list so far this year, 2015:

March 16 – Red-winged blackbirds (male)

March 17 – Common Grackles

March 20 – Male Cardinal singing

April 3 – Male Robins

April 9 – Male bluebird checking out the available housing arrangements in the pasture.

April 11 – Eastern Phoebe and Song Sparrows

April 13 – Cowbirds

April 14 – Tree Swallows return en masse.

April 15 – Kildeers and Canada Geese (down on the pond)

Apri1 16 – Chipping sparrows, White-throated sparrows and a female Pine Warbler picking up white horse hairs for her nest.

The rhubarb is pushing up through the wet mud and promises to be a good crop again.  The crocuses and daffies have lifted their head above ground on the south side of the house; the ones on the north side in the perennial garden will take another couple of weeks which gives us two blooming periods that we so enjoy.