March 24th – End Of Winter?

Mother Nature has been playing with us, testing our mettle as it were. Gave us some Spring weather and then snatched it away with 10 days or so of more Winter – sub-freezing temperatures and some snow. Some migration ground to a halt I think; e.g., a week ago I saw small groups of Tree Swallows over the Grand River; but I haven’t seen them for the past 3 or 4. But for many species it’s been business as usual and although they’ve had to work hard to find sustenance they’ve been doing OK. Killdeer are still around; Red-winged Blackbirds continue to stake out territories; our large local sparrow population have good fat loads – they’ll be moving off fairly soon; Turkey Vulture numbers continue to climb; and our pair of Canada Geese have an active nest on the go in the middle of the pond on the turtle-sunning platform. Tomorrow things are supposed to change for the better with temperatures going up into double digits. The migration will move back into full swing before you know it.

Our pair of Canada Geese are undeterred by the recent Winter conditions; they have an active nest on the go. -SGS

Liam, Sarah and I had a productive morning. Between banding 29 birds and handling 15 retraps (almost all from last year) they put up another net (8 of 10 now running) and started laying down gravel along one of the muddy paths….there’s always lots to do.

And although the temperature never rose above 2 C., it was quite pleasant sitting at the picnic table, basking in the sun, and watching activity around the pond: Green-winged Teal, Wood Ducks, and even a few Rusty Blackbirds.

Rusty Blackbird taking advantage of the ice to forage for windblown seeds

Banded 29:

1 Blue Jay
1 Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

5 American Goldfinches
14 American Tree Sparrows

American Tree Sparrow

1 Dark-eyed junco
5 Song Sparrows
1 Red-winged blackbird
1 Northern Cardinal

ET’s: 37 spp.

One thought on “March 24th – End Of Winter?

  1. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop. I really like the new neutral back drop you’re using when you photograph the birds. we need a black background also. (I trained in another lifetime as a commercial photographer)

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