Spring Notes

With spring here there is so much that is happening in regard to birds.  Many of our local birds have begun courtship and some are already on nest with eggs. We’ve had some reports of eager Bluebirds with eggs in the nest.  If you haven’t seen any Bluebird activity at your nest boxes yet don’t despair, there is still plenty of time.

And migration is in full swing.  Every day birds from Central and South America are moving closer to middle TN.  By the last week of March and first week of April the first hummingbirds of the year will begin arriving or passing though on the way to their summer breeding destination.  Go ahead and put out a hummingbird feeder to catch the early migrants but keep in mind you’re not likely to see much activity this soon. No need to fill a feeder entirely.  Small amounts will do.

For birdwatchers this is a most exciting time.  Warblers, Vireos, Tanagers, Indigo buntings, Orioles, Swallows, Flycatchers and many others will soon be pouring into and through middle TN.  Look for Rose-breasted grosbeaks and Indigo buntings to start arriving at seed feeders around mid-April through mid-May.  Rose-breasted grosbeaks especially like platform feeders but will manage very well on tube type feeders.  They like sunflower and safflower.  Indigo Buntings also like a variety of seeds but seem to prefer feeding on the ground.

Get your feeders cleaned up and your binoculars ready. Clean feeders are very important in reducing the chances of avian disease like avian conjunctivitis which is very common among the finch population.  Speaking of finches, have your Goldfinches suddenly disappeared? Or suddenly appeared?  Are you seeing them beginning to change to their summer plumage?  Goldfinch numbers at your feeders can change daily this time of year as there is a lot of movement among flocks in the spring.  Two weeks ago goldfinches disappeared from my feeders for a week.  Another large group has since appeared.  This is normal spring activity. Enjoy the spring, everyone. Good birding to all!