Big Year Birding – Spring!

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Spring has been slow to return this year, it seems.  I haven’t seen official numbers just yet, but I am willing to bet that March will rank amongst the coldest of recent years.

Old man Winter is finally loosening his grip, though, and trees have begun to flower.  Soon, migrating warblers will be flying through the treetops, scouring those flowers for the caterpillars and other bugs they need to restore their bodies and continue on their northward journeys.

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Some of our Summer birds have already returned.  I photographed this cooperative Osprey a couple of weeks ago in Cheesequake State Park.  She was one of many checking out available nesting sites and staking out territory on that chilly Saturday morning.

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Even our wintering birds are beginning to show signs of Spring.  Here’s a Bonaparte’s Gull starting to develop the black hood typical of breeding season.  Soon this little gull will begin its long trip to the boreal forests of northern Canada.

Today is training day and, along with several of my colleagues, I will spend a few hours reviewing survey materials and protocols for this year’s grassland study.  It is a good time to reconnect with other citizen scientist and share experiences from last year’s study.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to sneak in a couple of hours of birding after my classes and look for a few of those early Spring arrivals.

I hope you’ll be able spend some time outdoors as well, enjoying our Spring weather.  Until next time – Good Birding!

Greg

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