We realize we keep telling everyone that spring is on the way, all the while, Mother Nature seemingly has other plans. While it remains quite frigid here in eastern Ontario, changes are certainly on the way – in fact we’ve already seen some!
In celebration of the first day of March, we wanted to touch on some of our early migrants, when they should start showing up here and some tips on where to find them when they do.
One of our earliest migrants and perhaps one of the most noticeable are our red-winged blackbirds. Often arriving in flocks, these birds are slated to return at some point this month and will soon once again be a fixture around marshy areas as they look for a safe place to nest hidden in the cattails. As one of the most abundant birds here in North America, they shouldn’t be hard to spot over the coming weeks!
Heading in another direction are our beloved snow buntings. We have heard numerous sightings of these northern birds here in the Ottawa area over the last few weeks, which should continue through the month of March. The unfortunate reality with our snow buntings is that they are leaving us and heading north where they will spend the spring and summer months before returning to our area next winter.
Another species that always gets us excited are the unique and intriguing horned lark. These beautiful birds can be spotted in our area over the next few weeks if we are unfortunate enough to catch some on their way through to more northern breeding ranges. While these birds will typically head a little bit more north than here to do so, there is a slight chance some will hang out in our area and offer us a longer tenure this spring.
Additionally, look for more of our standard arrivals this month as well. Our Canada geese will begin to arrive once things warm up a bit as well as many of our other waterfowl species. Larger birds such as our red-shouldered hawks are slated for arrival and our skies should soon be blessed with the familiar flight of the great blue herons as well.
Seeing anything interesting out there? Don’t be shy to share with us on social media, we’d love to hear from you. Check us out on Facebook or join our Gilligallou Bird Facebook Group and join the community!