There is definitely a feeling of Spring in the air today, and despite the snowstorm we all groaned about yesterday which ended in freezing rain, the heaps of snow are now quickly melting and casting a haze in the air. The temperatures will be fluctuating throughout March. Today was +2C!! Plus 2!! But tomorrow we're supposed to divebomb again. I figured today was a good opportunity to head to the marsh and see what I could find.
Geese were the first to welcome me. But I didn't want to waste my birdseed on the large birds today. I'm running out of seeds at home and won't be going to the store until the weekend, so I saved most of my seeds for the little guys.
The black, grey and red squirrels were out in force and the bird feeders that are provided all had squirrels sitting inside them scarfing down the seeds people had left.
Plentiful cardinals were following me, but they are far too shy to come to my hand.
This cardinal (above) was so bright compared to the other females.
Do you see the heart behind her made of wild cucumber vine?
The chickadees were out in droves and chased me around the woods begging for seeds. I couldn't refuse them they're so gosh-darned cute! I even had a woodpecker come to my hand, but didn't take a photo of that as I didn't want to scare him. But here he is on the tree ... a downy woodpecker ...
Now you would think having a woodpecker eat seeds from your hand would be a bit terrifying with that long beak. However, although they can blast into trees with their sharp bill, they are very gentle when picking up seeds. He didn't stab me with his beak, but gently picked them up and flew away. He returned about five times. I just loved that, and he is so very pretty close up!
As I walked along, I noticed there was quite a commotion going on further up the path with a bunch of tom turkeys. I don't know if it was the lighting, or if the males' colouring brightens up in springtime, but their heads were quite brilliant today!
Aren't they bizarre looking?
As I say, there was a commotion ahead, and I quickly walked up the path to see what they were up to.
Male strutting was going on, and the toms were fighting each other. It was strange to watch, there were no females around, just these silly toms all boasting about who was better looking etc. They would push into each other and wrestle with their beaks, beat each other with their wings and duck under and over each other. It was crazy stuff!
Here are a few ready to make a turkey sandwich ...
Then they started grabbing each other's faces! Oh yeah, nasty stuff.
Then one bright bird decided he was going to show off his beautiful tail feathers.
He fanned out his tail, and plumped up all his feathers and strutted around in a circle.
Then they all wanted to show of their lovely tail feathers, so strutting around in circles with tails fanned out became the new game, with a bit of face chewing and pushing and shoving for good measure.
They were quite entertaining, but all this male ego fighting and strutting was completely wasted on the females. They were all gathered around eating seeds far from the males. But I enjoyed the show and told the boys I would share their antics on my blog.
Now I'll leave you with a brilliant photo of a male cardinal ... trust me, that's him ;)
Thanks for stopping by!