Birds are Returning - the City Soundtrack is Back and Bountiful!


It's spring and the warm weather is making everyone smile a bit more and feel lighter on their feet.  I'm enjoying the sights and sounds of our local birds returning and even take pleasure in the short visits of some that are just migrating through!

Ahh... the signs of spring from our feathered friends: first it's the Gulls returning to wet fields, then the Red-Winged Blackbirds and then the Cardinals start their mating calls (whether they were here all winter or not).  I heard my first Killdeer call a week or so ago and have indeed noticed some Robins on suburban lawns and ohh that dawn chorus is about to increase in decibels and fervour soon!  It's enjoyable the first few times but can get a bit maddening, especially on the weekends when you want to sleep in!  But it doesn't last all summer, just the months that birds are mating - it should die down here by mid-June.  (Here's a link to a podcast about the dawn chorus by the BBC - scroll down to the comments section!)
dawn chorus (dän ˈkôrəs): intense birdsong at daybreak - lasting up to 40 minutes or longer (link)

I've even spotted a few Juncos popping around some leafy back corners and soon enough will be those first "Oh Sweet Canada" trills from the White-Throated Sparrows and that sweet faint whistle-chatter of the Chimney Swifts overhead.  I'm adding to my phenology list and noting what else I have noticed in early spring: sometimes a last flock of Bohemian Waxwings, Wood Frogs crowding ponds, Bloodroot flowering and the budding of Maple tree flowers!  It's also interesting to start noting patterns and deviations as to when these natural phenomenon occur.
phenology (fəˈnäləjē): study of the dates of recurrent natural events (such as flowering of a plant or last appearance of a migrant bird) in relation to seasonal climatic changes - combining ecology with meteorology (link)

Spring is a great time to view birds before leafs have filled in the trees and obscure many birds from view.  Have you read our other posts about urban birds - including up close viewing via nest cams, the various structures that offer them habitat and some bird calls you may already know?  Check them out here:



Enjoy your early spring Urban Birding!



Title photo by Viliam Glazduri (Instagram, Flickr, 500 px) Contributing Creative to Wild. Here.

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