Spring is Sprung!

Spring is  definitely here.  It has been for a few weeks now in Western, Washington.  Typically I know  by the return of the swallows,   but they haven’t shown up yet this year.    But  Spring has  Sprung!

The  front walkway is  bathed in the scent of  Hyacinth with it’s pink and  purple flowers.  Buds are  opening on all the trees with many in full bloom.  If that alone doesn’t convince you, we’ve have temperatures in the mid-sixties for over a week!  The weather has been  extremely mild this winter and  I fear we are in for a   hot and  smoky  summer. But for now it is  Spring with all the refresh  that it provides the soul.

The  calendar says  it’s technically winter for another  couple weeks. But Mother nature don’t need no stinkin’  calendar!   If I don’t know by the  flowers and the trees, then it must be ….yep you guessed it, the birds and the bees!  Bees are busy  buzzing around and  looking  for the nectar to make the honey and the birds  have gone  all aflutter with  gathering  sticks and fluff for their nests.

I  hang  a wad of cotton out each year   and  watch as they  come and snag little bits   and take them back to wherever they are building or  fixing up their nests.  So far  the Anna’s Hummingbirds have been the most active with  taking the cotton. That effort  will  soon shift over to the gold and house finches,  then the chickadees and  red winged blackbirds.

Today  my feeders are a  popular spot  for  the birds to  chit chat about  the weather.  As dawn breaks the Anna’s   come off of their  torpor and swing by the feeders to  drink deeply of the sweet nectar.  The males swooping down  in a steep dive, breaking away with  a honk of their tail feathers inches above the feeder  to woo  a mate.  This behavior continues all day, with males  fighting incredible aerial battles.

Next up are the Juncos  and  Sparrows   early birds for sure but they  aren’t looking for worms, they are after seeds  and nuts.  Robins  sing their songs as the sun continues to rise.  Next is the  squeaky call of the Northern Flicker, he flies down and hangs  by his feet off of the feeder and pecks at the suet greedily.  He flies off and it’s time for the hoard of Pine Siskins, goldfinches and a pair of  house finches,  the siskins swarm the feeders  and I keep an eye out for the Sharp-Shinned Hawks that follow them around.

The Siskins share well  with the  black-capped and  chestnut  backed chickadees who doth protest loudly their disdain,  the white breasted nuthatches that  squawk obtusely as they  come and  grab nuts upside down  and fly away in a flash.  Then appear the  Starlings by the dozen, these loud  and spectacularly colored  birds  do not share well with others but they don’t stay long, they  make a mess of the place and then  take off as one for their next appointment. The  Towhees can now  have a turn at the nuts and berries of the  bird feeders.

All day long it’s a  rotation of species in and out of the yard,   the siskins hang out in the trees nearby with a constant  twittering  from dawn ‘til dusk.  Most of these  birds have been around all winter, but  you can sense the buildup of activity  now that the days are longer and warmer.  They have more energy and chase each other around like  newlyweds on  honeymoon.

Before  too long we will see whole families of  each species  sharing and teaching the ropes of  proper feeder etiquette to the next generation.

Welcome Spring! It’s great to see and smell  you again!

A Puffed up Pine Siskin Bows down before the Chickadee Guardian of the food.

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And is a bit embarassed when  he notices I’m watching…

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Pine Siskin enjoying the sunshine

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Siskins in the trees waiting for their turn at the feeder…

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Siskins and Juncos at the buffet…

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Hyacinth  in  Winter?

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Stay Safe, Be Kind, Keep the Park Clean, Pay it forward, Make a Difference and One Love  –  http://wp.me/p2RcFA-3Z

 

~Mikey

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