March 13th – 5 More Signs Of Spring

hmmmm….looking at that title….I guess the overwhelming sign is the temperature: 16 degrees!! And we’re not even half way through March. What gives with that?!

The first sign would have to be the growing proliferation of mist nets. We got 5 more up today so we have: 1, 1A, 2, 8, 8R, 8S (these last 2 are owl nets), 9, 9A and 10. We’ll get some done tomorrow….and maybe the 3 new Wood Duck boxes up as well – they (and the Hooded Mergansers) will be looking for them.

The second sign was the presence of Golden-crowned Kinglets. Now, these could be birds that wintered here but I’ve been around the grounds a lot this Winter and haven’t seen any, so my money is on early migrants.

Third were the first melodies of the Chorus Frogs – calling from the pond below net 8. Now usually this pond is of significant size at this time of year, but since we had hardly any snow and the river didn’t flood, the pond is about the size it gets toward the middle of May. Those frogs had better get down to some serious breeding and quickly while there’s still water! (Of course, these animals are probably always serious about breeding – no casual sex for these guys….)

Fourth: CAO Marilynn Havelka saw a snake close to the Coach House – and lived to tell about it.

The fifth and (for me and Christine Madliger whose research is based on them) most exciting was a Tree Swallow. Nancy pointed it out as it flew in from the river and circled over the meadow by nets 4 and 5.

These “signs” had better hope that we don’t get a serious cold snap!

ET’s: 34 spp.


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