Not quite “As The World Turns” — but the passage of time lately seems about as slowly evolving as a soap opera. And it did snow last night. But there are still signs of spring,
Not all the signs of spring are inspiring, such as finding my first dead migrant, the Song Sparrow above, on the sidewalk, but for the most part, there is cause for celebration.
The first fragile days of spring are upon us and while winter has not yet loosened its grip, the birds are arriving and getting down to business, claiming their territories for nesting. The days are getting longer and the wait for warmer weather is nearly over. I hope.
My first-of-year (FOY) Red-Winged Blackbird (in Illinois) was last Thursday, the same day I found the Song Sparrow, and the same location, 155 N. Wacker. But the bird was backlit and light was poor, so I waited until I went out Sunday to photograph this RWBB at the Portage, where he was joined by at least a dozen more males setting up their territories. A song sample is below.
All I could see was frozen water, but several pair of Canada Geese saw nesting spots. The pair below, in particular, proclaimed their territory quite loudly. You can hear them by clicking the arrow below the picture.
Adding to predictable spring arrivals, the Red-Bellied Woodpecker (although Red-Bellieds have wintered here for the most part) at the Portage on Sunday and the Common Grackle at Millennium Park on Friday.
Crows have been here all winter too, of course, but they seem to have a little more spring in their flight.
Even the commonest Rock Pigeon is all decked out for rebirth. I learned to tell Blue Bars from other color morphs years ago when I tried to monitor Chicago Loop Pigeons for Cornell’s citizen science project. But I found it hard to keep up with them, and then the crows distracted me…
Here’s our noisiest goose couple again. I like the way everything seems to be leaning to the right…
I hope to be back with more from Belize very soon.