Friday, March 11, 2005

March Birding

Dear Readers,

This morning we had Fox Sparrows (Passerella iliaca) at our feeder which is always a harbinger of Spring for me. I have also been hearing Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) singing and establishing territories. March is upon us and with warmer days and cool nights the sap will be flowing. Along with maple syrup aficionados, look for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus varius) tapping trees and making their way north. We are all seeing American Robins (Turdus migratorius), Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) in large numbers. Other land birds that will begin to sporadically appear this month are Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater), Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) and Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura).

With all the thawing ponds and lakes all types of ducks, geese and swans are showing up and something fun or unusual could pop up anywhere. I read today that in southern Illinois Great Egret (Ardea alba) and Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) have been spotted already. Shorebirds will not likely be seen here in Northern Illinois until April.

See you out and about.