Hah! Spring! Birds are arriving. (We need sunshine.)
A pair of Mallards and a pair of Canada Geese are in the pond behind our house. We’ve had the same species nesting here in recent years. Perhaps these are old friends. The Mallards are copulating. Seems a bit premature, given that the pond remains 75 percent ice-covered and there is snow on the marsh grass.
A Broad-winged Hawk was here over the weekend. The species migrates, this one a returnee, I assume. This species nested in the neighborhood last year.
A pair of crows are building a nest in a pine across the street from us. A nest we can watch!
Crows are neighborhood regulars, but in other years have nested in trees we could not easily watch. Today I watched one of the crows arranging sticks for the nest.
In open water at the Wayzata Yacht Club today I saw two dozen Ring-necked Ducks, two pair of Hooded Mergansers, and one female Common Merganser. The water is being kept open to prevent ice damage to docks.
American Goldfinches are rapidly molting into their bright yellow breeding plumage. They were joined here yesterday by two dozen Common Redpolls. We’ve seen but one this winter.
A Sandhill Crane flew over the house three days ago. We’ve had them nest about a mile west of us. We’ve checked that marsh the past two days, but no cranes are there. Yet.
The Cooper’s Hawk that has been a regular neighborhood nester is hunting at our feeders.
It’s nice to have some spring bird action. (Above, goldfinch on the left. Below, redpolls and thistle seed.