Neotropical migrants won’t begin arriving on the scene for a month or more. However, our local year-round resident birds have the jump on those mainly insectivorous migrants. Some of the locals like cardinals, towhees, brown thrashers, Carolina wrens and others are in full song and some are building or investigating nest sites.
American robin numbers are increasing, and keep an eye out for cedar waxwings on any shrubs or trees that still have fruit, like holly or red cedar.
Northern cardinals may break into song on any given day throughout the winter months, but the competition is thick at this time of year when many males can be heard on a typical stroll through our campus. By the way, females also sing.
You may even hear a hermit thrush, ruby-crowned kinglet, or white-throated sparrow practice their songs before leaving us for more northern climes in the near future.
Carolina chickadee, brown-headed and white-breasted nuthatches, song sparrows, and the rest of our local avian residents are feeling the urge. If you need more proof of spring’s arrival, today I saw a red-shouldered hawk pass off what looked like a brown snake to its mate.