Top Photo: Following mating these two red-shouldered hawks spend several minutes preening and looking about before splitting off to hunt for frogs and brown snakes.

It’s spring and the local fauna and flora are responding to the mild temperatures and extended periods of daylight each new day brings.

Here’s some resident species and how the season affects them.

A pair of red-shouldered hawks respond to the season by courting and hunting for emerging pickerel and other early season frogs and snakes, including DeKay’s brown snakes. DeKay’s brown snakes are the most frequent snake I’ve observed being offered to the female during courtship by a male red-shouldered hawk.

Courtship is at hand.
Pickerel frog.
DeKay’s brown snake.

Red buckeye is throwing out shoots. An early blooming forest understory plant, its time has come.

Red buckeye buds splitting open.
Palmate leaves break out and begin to spread.

The sun brings out green anoles, three of them, to be specific.

Anoles enjoy the warmth.
Three green anoles bask on sun.

And finally, as mentioned in a previous Nest Box Update posting on this blog, Carolina chickadees are nesting in a dead pine next to the boardwalk leading to and from Explore the Wild.

Excavator announces herself.
Into the nest hole.
Peeking out.
This nest is only feet from boardwalk.

Enjoy the spring while it last, it’ll soon be too hot to handle.

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