Spring has sprung, at least technically. However, the 5 inches of snow we received this past weekend and the snowfall that is expected this coming weekend reminds us that Old Man Winter still has a grip.
Even with the recent snows, a few feathered friends have returned, bringing back more life to the countryside.
This past weekend, while traveling to Fargo, winter was holding strong. That is, until I stepped outdoors for a walk and noticed American robins flitting around a few buildings. What a great sight to see. Also, in northeastern portions of Moorhead, Canada geese were abundant and flying low overhead looking like B-52s. Flocks of mallards weren’t far behind.
The return trip home to Bismarck-Mandan on Sunday evening brought freezing rain followed by large, heavy snows with wind creating tough road conditions. However, the next day in Mandan, brought in more robins. Again, reminding us that spring will be here soon. Other great bird sightings this week included ring-necked pheasant roosters fighting in the road ditch. Pheasants also were observed scraping through the snow in fields to get to the crop seeds scattered after last fall’s harvest. Horned larks were observed along road edges. I’ve noticed several more American crows hanging around town as well.
I observed another invasive bird, the Eurasian collared-dove, that is noted to live here year round, was carrying nesting material in its bill. Seems way too early, but, with birds, nothing should really surprise me anymore.
It appears that the flocks of Canada geese flying over my neighborhood nightly have grown in numbers. One evening this week, I noticed flock after flock of geese cruising low overhead for what seemed like an hour. The birds were landing in a nearby crop field. What a great sight and sound to observe in the spring.
In the coming weeks, as the snow begins to melt, our feathered friends will be winging it north to breeding grounds here and in the northern reaches of the globe. Get outdoors to catch a glimpse of the migrations of several species of birds. You may just find a bird you’ve never seen before.