Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On Spring, Let's Hear From the Experts

–Rob Deason, text & photos
Considering the crazy weather we've had, saying Spring is here could start a heated argument. But, according to the calendar, it should be, right? But let's hear from the REAL experts: • Arriving a few days ago, the male Hooded Orioles [top-left] have announced it, and what a beautiful bird and way to ring in Spring. Oriole, an insect eater, loves to sip sugar-water from the hummingbird feeder. I take the bee guards from two holes to accommodate its heavier beak. • We saw our first Grossbeak [lower left] a day ago. They pass through every year and will Soon dominate the feeder of black oil sunflower seeds. Gross = Large beak for opening seeds. • I heard the beautiful chortle of the tiny wrens yesterday. They're insect eaters as small as the little yellow-chested goldfinch that have been around for months. Wrens are illusive, and spend their time searching up, around, and over the rocks. They have a Tan body with cinnomon sides with an unmistakable upward cant to their tails. For three years they've occupied a gourd house [shown]. The male sits outside his chosen roost and sings a sparkling chortle to attract Ms. Wren.