Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Finch or Four in the Wreath

Male House Finch
(Carpodacus mexicanus)
Oh burgeoning springtime, and its opulently feathered offerings...  There are at least two pairs of romantically inclined house finches visiting the feeders in our garden at the moment, and both are attempting to define a territorial imperative - blithe ownership of the tatty old oak wreath on the front door.  We've spent hours this week watching the splendidly scarlet males on nearby telephone wires, preening and posing like body builders onstage and singing their hearts out for their beloveds - like all of the finches, their voices are melodious and uplifting.  The dear little birds deserve their time in the sun, for their whole spring and summer will be spent raising not one, not two, but three rowdy broods in a row.

Local owl offspring (usually called owlets although I like owlings much better) are feathering out nicely, and horned larks, killdeer, ducks (mallards and blacks) and Canada geese have returned to the Lanark highlands, as have flocks of  jubilant robins and red-winged blackbirds.  There are no signs of loons, herons or cormorants on the lake so far, but Spencer and I surprised the first woodcock of the season in the soft ground down near the creek a few days ago, and there are choirs of rose-breasted grosbeaks high in the overstory as we potter along the trail. 
No doubt about it, it is time to dust off the shelf of ornithology references in the study and (perhaps) put away the snowshoes.  No wait, this is only March... 


Cathy said...

Heard a thrush playing it's piccolo notes this morning for the first time this spring.

Guy said...

Hi Cate

Sounds like you birds are coming back. I have not seen much change here yet. A really beautiful shot of the finch.


Anonymous said...

I love to see these photos. I'm in Calgary now, at the airport and on my way home.