We keep a calendar with large writing spaces up on the wall to record the daily temperatures – low and high – and anything special that happens. Spring bird arrivals are that. The rose breasted grosbeaks were a day earlier than last year and the hummingbirds were a five days late.
Over the years we’ve had a number of new birds move in and a few disappear. There is still a single whip-o-will that returns every April instead of the many who called all around us when we moved here. Mourning doves and blue jays are among the new ones.
Since the bird feeder is up year round and has been for almost thirty years, migrating birds seem to know about it. Last year a rusty blackbird stopped by one day. It is much larger than the other blackbirds and cowbirds who stay in the area. It was back again this year.
The red wing blackbirds live next door over the summer because of the cold water fen and cattails. One has discovered the feeder and comes by to snack.
Baltimore orioles stopped by one year to enjoy the hummingbird feeders. Cedar waxwings visit the various red cedars for a day or two.
A few years ago a single grosbeak stopped a day or two and flew on. he came back the next year. This year there are four males with several females stopping over for several days.
The mourning doves and blue jays began similarly. Then a few pairs stayed over the summer. The doves stay most of the year now.
We are hoping the rose breasted grosbeaks will move in too. They are lovely birds and would be welcome additions to the cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays, titmice, Downey and red bellied woodpeckers and others we enjoy seeing daily.
If not, we will enjoy their visits each spring and fall.
Read more about nature in the Ozarks in “Exploring the Ozark Hills“.