Signs of spring are everywhere right now.
Fruit trees are starting to bloom, and the larger hardwoods are budding. Robins are everywhere (though in truth I’ve seen them all winter – they never really left), and the high school sailing team is back on the water. We’ve had no snow this winter, and very few days below freezing, so the transition to spring hasn’t required a huge change.
One of the most interesting things I’ve watched in the last week is a pair of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, preparing their nest. High up on a dead snag, a broken trunk of a white oak tree, they’ve been excavating.
At first I couldn’t tell what they were up to – there was a lot of flying back and forth to the large entrance hole, as if there were chicks present, but I couldn’t see any food. Over the past week, though, they’ve gone from poking heads in while tails go rigid against the trunk for support, to completely disappearing into the hollow. They’re still re-emerging tail first, so the space isn’t quite large enough to turn around in yet. It’s clear they’re carving.
Interestingly, it’s only a morning job. They take turns until about 9:30 am or so, and then they’re off somewhere else doing other things. I’m looking forward to watching the family this spring.
Get Out There