Monday, April 21, 2008
Wind and Moon
Pictured above is possibly the last Junco leaving the mid-west for pine forests up north (thanks again for the photo Amber!)
Last night's migration experienced the perfect combination of warm southerly winds and a bright full moon (not to mention it was the first night of Passover. Get it? Passover? Pass over...Thank-you, I'm here all week...)
Anyway, the birds in the backyard have changed dramatically overnight. Juncos are gone and Chipping Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows are abundant. Yesterday's banding found many birds to have lots of stored fat so it was just a matter of waiting for the right conditions to make the leap north. I imagine when people start reporting their sightings there will be lots of first of year birds showing up locally.
Sunday was our chance to do some bird banding in Wisconsin. Check out Birdchick's Blog for a nice summary of the day. We found that many of the woodpeckers we netted were well into their nesting cycle. Many had brood patches whose condition suggested they were on eggs or had young in the nest. It won't be long before young of the year start showing up at backyard feeders.
I have great confidence that Spring is finally here and I can put the snow shovel away.
Enjoy Earth Day tomorrow! Bike or walk to work if you can and listen to the morning chorus. Or better yet, take a mental health day and see what new species are around.