Arrivals and Departures

As March comes to an end – an unusually warm and dry month this year – mornings are full of birdsong. Eastern Bluebirds are nesting. Many of our winter resident birds have begun to sing – Ruby-crowned Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers – along with year-round residents like Cardinals, Chickadees, Brown Thrashers and almost all the others. Woodpeckers are drumming. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are still here, tapping quietly away, Dark-eyed Juncos still forage in the grass and dry leaves, and the high “seet-seet-seet” of Golden-crowned Kinglets, the brittle mews of Cedar Waxwings, and an occasional twanging “vreee!” or low “chup!” of a Hermit Thrush are still heard. The only winter birds I’ve not seen recently are the Rusty Blackbirds. Their small flocks were a regular presence in our neighborhood for many weeks, but I think they’ve moved on now.

March also saw the return of the first spring migrants. I heard the first song of a Blue-headed Vireo March 20; both Louisiana Waterthrush and Black and White Warbler March 21; and the bright “spee-spee!” of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher March 25.

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