Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Spring: Celebrate Renewal!

I love this time of hands ache to be playing in dirt, I want to work in my garden. After a long winter of cold where most activities are indoors, I look forward to being outside; physically working...sweating. If ever I created 'resolutions' it would be this time of year. Go for it; plant a native bush that will feed wildlife and beautify your natural garden; dig up some turf and create another garden that requires less water and back-breaking labor to tend; collect some pinecones and dip or spread them with homemade suet; clean those feeders, drag out the nectar tubes...invite the birds and bees and butterflies to frolic in your yard! Oh my...I do love this time of year.

Today, it's been gently snowing all day; fluffy, wet whiteness slowly piling up on trees and fence lines. This kind of weather brings birds down off the mountains; and I'm ready for them! I've got warm-ish water out so they don't waste energy eating snow. I've got the suet feeders full, I've got several kinds of feed...all in separate feeders spread out a bit in the yard; all where I can watch from my big bay window which looks out over the backyard.

I've not seen many Evening Grosbeaks this year...but today about a dozen are here. What I love about these big finches is how their yellow bills change color during the breeding season to a beautiful blue-green. Sweet!

And I finally had the first Cassin's Finch of the season visit. His bright red topknot and pale, pale belly make him easy for me to see he's neither a House Finch nor the Purple Finch...which is a bit streakier in the belly and looks to have been dipped in raspberry sauce! I just love these Cassin's subtle and yet that spiky, red top belies an accomplished mimic. Who knew?

Here is my bird list for the month of March:
White-throated Sparrow - tan , Hawk (Ferruginous?), Common Grackle , Turkey Vulture , Evening Grosbeak , Yellow-headed Blackbird , Hairy Woodpecker , American Robin , American Crow , Red-winged Blackbird , Blue Jay , Common Raven , European Starling , Northern Flicker - Red-shafted , Downy Woodpecker , Black-headed Chickadee , Black-billed Magpie , House Sparrow , American Goldfinch , Pine Siskin , Dark-eyed Junco - Oregon, Pink-sided, Slate and Gray-headed , House Finch - red, yellow and orange variants , Eurasian Collared-Dove

Photos from Wikipedia


Bosque Bill said...

Happy Spring to you! Down here in the middle Rio Grande valley we have been blessed this weekend with the first good rain in many months... a little over half an inch. May not sound like much to many folks, but much appreciated in these dry parts where we didn't even get any decent snow this winter.

Beverly said...

Awwwwwww, thanks Bill! I hope all is well with you. I know what you mean about rain and any moisture at all, we're way low too. I don't think we had anything all February and just a bit in March. Hopefully April will bring lots of spring showers, huh? Yeah, I like that idea.

Oh...and I've yet to see any hummers yet. I need to get some feeders out soon, though; just in case.

Debbie said...

Snowing like mad in Breckenridge today. I thought the Rosies were going to go away because we had a couple of warm days, but they are back in force.

Saw a Lapland Longspur yesterday. I think it was a bit of a rarity. Male in full breeding plumage.

I'm starting to think about the hummers, but I think we're several weeks away up here.

Beverly said...

Yeah, snowing here, too. Unfortunately I have scores and scores of black birds: Red-wings, Grackles, Starlings and the FOS Brown-headed Cow-bird. Ugh...

I also have hundreds of Pine Siskins, about a third as many American Goldfinch (no Lessers yet), gobs of Juncos and the first White-crowned Sparrow of the season...which also happened to be my first 'Nuttal's.

Oh...Evening Grosbeaks are in and out and a Cooper's made a mad dash through the yard a bit ago.

Gee, last year I had lots of all three Rosies...not so this year and none for weeks. Perhaps this storm will bring some down.

Someone posted a photo of the FOS Broad-tailed Hummer in Coal Creek Canyon. They're close!!!