We walked the Arboretum yesterday in search of spring activity. Despite the gray skies, birds were in spring mode. We were lucky enough to see our first warbler of the year, a palm warbler, near the beech collection on Bussey Hill. The warbler migration has begun!
This palm warbler wagged its tail up and down while it perched on a twig. According to my Sibley’s Guide, the palm warbler breeds well to the north of us, using our area to migrate from their southern haunts. This bird is on the early side and may have overwintered on the northern edge of its range, as far north as Virginia.
More male red-winged blackbirds have arrived and are staking their claim to territory. We did not see any females.
We caught this common grackle near the ponds gathering materials for its nest.
Another grackle in the area appeared to have lost a lot of head feathers. Not sure if it is molting or in poor health.
We saw a red-tailed hawk perched on a tree off Beech Path enjoying a freshly-caught meal.
Its prey looks to be a common garter snake.
Finally, we saw a red-bellied woodpecker excavating a hole in a sugar maple tree. Preparations for spring are well under way.