First spring moth flutters past window
I wrote my column a day early last week, so I missed out on some recent robin news. Marilyn Peterson of Portage Lake saw her first robin the afternoon of Saturday, March 18, "sitting in a young flowering crab, eating the apples." The robin hung a...
I wrote my column a day early last week, so I missed out on some recent robin news.
Marilyn Peterson of Portage Lake saw her first robin the afternoon of Saturday, March 18, "sitting in a young flowering crab, eating the apples." The robin hung around the Petersons every day until at least March 22, trying to "gulp" down the apples.
Wednesday, March 22 Edric Clarke saw a robin on CSAH 87, across from Round Bay Lodge.
I have yet to see a robin, but I, too, saw one of my favorite signs of spring March 22. In the late afternoon, two red-tailed hawks were perched on the power line poles at the end of my road out here in Becker County. March 22 is apparently an important day for these two hawks, since that was the first day I saw them on these same power poles last year, too.
Stan from Becida saw two "small, reddish hawks" Sunday, March 26, but he said he could not identify them because they were moving away.
Stan also said he saw his first goldfinch Saturday, March 25. He had juncos and purple finches at his feeders Monday, March 27.
I saw a small flock of juncos Wednesday, March 29. The next day, March 30, I heard and saw my first sandhill crane of the season flying over CSAH 48 in Becker County.
Dick from Lake Emma Township said a male red-winged blackbird returned the evening of Thursday, March 23, and by the morning of Thursday, March 30, he had a flock of about a dozen male red-wings at his feeder.
There is no sign of red-wings here in the meadow yet. The last ones I saw were in Santa Fe when I went birding with my friend Aida Sehovic, who is from Bosnia. She had never seen a red-winged blackbird before that day, and the males really put on a wonderful show for her by flashing their epaulets and calling, "Conklaree!" It was pretty magical to sit and talk in the sunshine and be quietly dazzled by blackbirds.
I saw my first moth of the season the evening of Wednesday, March 29, around 9 p.m. It was a little over an inch long and a generic tan color. It fluttered past a window for a few seconds.
I'm determined to learn more about moths this year. Last May, either Polyphemus or cecropia moths flew into my hair a couple nights when I went out onto porch after dark. Since both of those moths can have up a six inch wing span, it was a fairly notable experience.
Linda Smith sent me some wonderful photos of a glasswing butterfly. The photos were passed on to her, so I can't reprint them, but if you look up glasswing butterfly or Greta oto, you can learn more about this beautiful Central American species with the transparent wings.
On the lookout
I just thought I'd remind everyone of a few dates from last year:
n March 27: mourning doves returned.
n March 29: bluebirds, great blue herons returned.
n April 1: wood ducks returned.
n April 6: wood and chorus frogs began calling.
On the way
According to the Journey North Web site, ruby-throated hummingbirds have crossed the Gulf and are now being spotted as far north as Arkansas, Oklahoma and North Carolina.
A loon was spotted (and heard) on the Mississippi in Minneapolis Wednesday, March 29.
Thank you to all who wrote with news. When sending your reports, be sure to give your name and a little information on where you made your sighting. Send to maureeng @unitelc.com no later than 8 a.m. Thursdays. If it's easier, feel free to drop a letter by the office, or in the mail.
This column is brought to you by Park Ace Hardware. Be prepared for our returning feathered friends. Check out our large selection of bird feeders.
Open seven days a week, Ace is located on Highway 71 south, Park Rapids, 732-4513. Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks.