Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring is the Best!

Trees are flowering, the temperature is slowly crawling warmer, and the birds are back in town!  Campus is just starting to see some of our spring migrants show up.  Some of the early birds (pun intended) for spring migration, Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Killdeer, have been on campus for over a month.  Some new sightings from this week include Northern Flicker and House Wren. 
Cherry blossoms

April showers not only bring May flowers but they also bring baby birds!  While I haven't had a chance to keep an eye on all the birds with nests around campus; here at the Collection Studies Center we have an interesting group using the building for nest protection. 

Fledgling Mourning Doves
In our courtyard we have a couple of baby Mourning Doves hanging around waiting for their parents to feed them. 
Female Mallard, very skittish of her nest

We also found a little corner where a Mallard duck decided to raise her brood.  In the past, we had heard from former Bayer employees that Mallards frequently nested in the courtyard as well. Hopefully if we can keep people from disturbing her, she won't abandon the nest.  Please help by not looking for her!
Clutch of Mallard eggs

Mark, a member from our awesome custodial staff, mentioned seeing a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree with both a bird and a rabbit.  No doubt the hawk was finding enough food to fill the mouths of hungry babies nesting somewhere on campus. 

Keep your eyes open.  There's still a lot more migration to go and all sorts of birds are on their way. 

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