Although I do love winter birding by this time of year
I am looking ahead to Spring as my cold fingers and frostbitten toes have me
yearning for butterflies, warblers and wildflowers.
Despite our made-up, manmade calendar and the
weatherman telling us spring is still weeks away I thought I would go see for
myself what Nature had to say about when spring might arrive.
I hoped that somewhere between a 60 degree winter day
and our recent 2 degree mornings spring would be out there waiting for me. I hoped to find it somewhere between the
Juncos of winter and the early arriving Red-winged Blackbirds raucously
assembling in the marshes of the Meadowlands.
I heard spring in the melody of a Song Sparrow that
was singing atop my dogwood over the weekend and now is sounding their harmony
throughout the Meadows edges. Just as I found near the end of winter in the
White-throated Sparrows who are now announcing their journey north will not be
I feel spring in our Bald Eagles that are already on
their nests nurturing future generations and in the flocks of gathering
Mergansers and Bufflehead that are staging themselves for a long northward journey.
I also found spring with the Robins plucking the last crabapples and Holly
Berries from the tired winter branches and the Great Horned Owls now nesting
despite the coming snow and long cold nights.
I found spring in the willows and Serviceberry whose buds are now beginning
to swell with the wonders of the renewed season; the Cardinals song that can
now be heard echoing spring’s arrival; and the Goldfinch that are beginning to
show slight flashes of their brilliant
yellow plumage that will announce to all the season has arrived.
The Red-Bellied woodpeckers are now competing
boisterously for nesting cavities and now too the Grackles fill the air with
their electrical sound in a sure symbol of the coming of spring. The Mourning
Doves convey their touching sad plea and the Downy Woodpeckers drum wherever
they can be heard, letting everyone know that they will be present and
accounted for this spring
were all there. Spring could now be felt and heard. The days are longer; the
cold slowly, ever so hesitantly releases its icy grip as spring fights to reach
out to us.
Nature is the one constant. It has always been there
waiting for us to find it. Just as spring will bring the Hummingbirds and
Orioles, it will also bring us what we need to revitalize our spirits and renew
our souls. Get outside and find it for yourselves. There is nothing else like