Spring is an Onomatopoeia

Spring has sprung! The season is springing forward here at Green Heron Pond. And I love it! The first day of Spring I got up in cold darkness only to hear the cheery, enthusiastic song of Mr Cardinal from his tree top perch in the backyard. His exuberance put a bit of a spring in my step as I descended the stairs headed to the kitchen for some coffee. With coffee soon in hand I settled in to watch dawn slip over the pond with its orange-y pink light filtering through the almost bare branches of the tall Cottonwoods. The beginnings of dawn revealed the silhouettes of Mallards and the resident Canada geese couple along the shoreline. Soon two Robins and the Bluebird couple flew up on the deck looking for a breakfast of dried meal worms; peering inside wondering why I wasn’t springing into action to deliver their order. And then I heard it- that unmistakable loud call and I sprang from my chair to see where this almost raucous sound was coming from.

Looking out I could see not one but two Pileated Woodpeckers descending the big Cypress tree, winding their way down like a cork screw towards a suet feeder fastened to a low branch. First of all besides sounding their robust calls, Pileated Woodpeckers are huge birds, very recognizable yet incredibly agile and secretive… not so this pair. They are actually deep woods birds who love old dead trees for their insect diet but the sub freezing cold of this last winter may have forced this pair to become suburbanites and here they were- the true Mr and Mrs Woody Woodpecker. What a start to Spring!

The word Pileated comes from the Latin word pileatus meaning “capped”.

The Pileateds have been here every day since at that suet feeder and we believe they must be nesting nearby in some of the surrounding wooded areas. The ducks and geese love when the Pileateds come to eat as their large woodpecker bills chisel off not only bites for themselves but chunks that hit the ground for any hungry waterfowl around. They also loosen up the suet cake for the smaller Red Belly and Downy Woodpeckers who patiently wait until their big cousins leave to do their own dining.

There have also been some Spring waterfowl visitors this week here at the pond; Shovelers spinning all around the pond and five Blue Winged Teal-such beautiful petite ducks! There are five Teal drakes and a Teal hen. They love to hug the shoreline dabbling for their meals and travel in tight formations to move across the pond. I am wondering if it might be a family unit migrating through? We have had our Winter visitors the Juncos leave this week too and as they leave we always anticipate the Spring and Summer residents to arrive shortly!

Spring springing here on Green Heron Pond… see what’s outside your own window… you will be surprised and filled with wonder- let me know! Life on Green Heron Pond.

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