March 16, 2015
This hearty fellow belted out a beautiful song this morning with apparent lack of concern for me, my puppy,
or my tripod. Home at last, he flits about with a lusty song. Red-winged blackbirds are polygamous and can
sire up to fifteen nests at a time. His job is to protect his territory while the unobtrusive females
build the nests, lay the eggs, and feed the young.
I love the year round song of the cardinal. This is one of the few species of birds in which both the male
and female sing. The female is even known to sing while sitting on the nest. Contrary to their polygamous
friends, these birds are monogamous which gives the male plenty of time to dote on the female.
The prairie is filled with the shrill cry of these long-legged beauties. The killdeer lay their eggs in a hollowed out area on the
ground. After they lay their eggs, they fill the nest with lightly colored pebbles for camouflage. If a predator appears, they will
fake a wing injury to lure the threat away from the nest.
Another sign of spring is the drumming of the woodpeckers. The downy woodpecker does not
have a song. Instead, they drum on dead trees to establish their territory. Both the males and
females will drum. Once paired they will work together to excavate a hole in a dead tree for the nest.
Last year, my neighbor put up a wood duck house near the pond. I am hopeful that is why these two showed up.
They are called buffleheads and are rarely seen on land. They nest in trees and spend the rest of their time in water.
They find their food by diving. Hope (my puppy) and I very much enjoyed their splashy show. Hopefully, they will stay to nest.
Identifying birds by their sound adds a whole new dimension to walking. If you do not know the birds by their songs, I highly
recommend taking the time to learn. It has brought me much joy.
Hope enjoyed meeting her first robin. As the prairie echoes with peacock calls, I anticipate the return of my friend, Chester.
Aware of Hope’s enthusiasm for all things new, I hope his return does not prove hopeless!
Thanks for visiting. Happy spring!