Saturday, March 7, 2009


Winter finally seems to be loosening it's grip on the area. There are still plenty of Siskins and Redpolls at the feeder, but a few things caught my eye today that remind me that spring is right around the corner.

Still doing a brisk business at the thistle feeders. The Redpolls were a pleasant surprise this year and even bigger numbers should return next. I better start saving for thistle seed now.

American Kestrel numbers are also increasing as they slowly return to the higher and more windy elevations.

I stopped down to the ravine that is located on the state land not far from my house. I saw this Common Raven cruise by. The bird was silent and that's usually one way you can tell that they are up to something.

Ravens have nested in the ravine before, so I took a few minutes to scan the rock face on the other side. Sure enough, a nest had been built. Nothing elaborate for the construction, just a pile of sticks and some softer material on the top to form a cup. I didn't want to disturb them too much, so I left and made a note to check on them in a few days.

As I was driving home I spotted this Ruffed Grouse in full display on the side of the road. Some folks consider them just game birds that are kinda plain. I don't know, maybe it's just me but this bird looks very impressive as it struts it's stuff. The sad part of this situation is that this is how many grouse meet their demise. They get very territorial during mating season and will challenge anything including motor vehicles. If you'll notice, this bird was actually standing on the white line along the edge of a county road. When they are in this state of mind, they usually don't move out of the way of an approaching motor vehicle. This guy eventually settled down and returned to the woods before any vehicle approached.

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