I’m expecting Arctic temperatures for the next two days as winter makes (hopefully!) a last appearance. No worries. There are plenty of signs of spring. For example, we are seeing Eastern Phoebes. They are flycatchers but depend on other insects and seeds at this early part of spring. The large head is an obvious field mark. The name comes from their “phoebe” call. It is a sure sign of spring when we see them.
The birds are getting much more vocal as they prepare to stake out territories and make nests. I was walking (more like wading due to the wet trails) when I heard what sounded like someone chiseling wood. I looked for the obvious source, a Pileated Woodpecker, and found a female that appeared to be cutting out a nesting site in an old tree. Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest woodpecker we have at 17 inches (44 cm) long. They can dig into wood as well as any hammer and chisel wielded by a human. This is a female based on the color pattern. Males have a red crest and forehead, and red “moustache”, while females only have the red crest.
I’ll be looking for more early Spring arrivals as well as Spring activities by our permanent residents like the woodpecker.
As a bonus, I have to post a picture of a rather large visitor to my bird feeders. Turkeys are a regular sight in my neighborhood. The squirrels do not mess with this bird!