Thursday, April 9, 2009

Karval birds as changeable as the weather

A true sign of spring; rain, snow, wind, and blow. A favorite time of year for me. A time looked forward to- baby animals, buds on the trees, new flowers, and warmer weather. By this time most of the calves are born and surviving the changeable weather the best way they can. Lambs are seen in roadside pastures enjoying a free meal. Soon there will be hungry mouths to feed as the birds pair off and nest. I can’t wait to search for nests and young.

As ranching duties increase, so does the final round of activities at school. Spring is best described as busy. The birds seem to have received the message. Rafts of ducks on every large and small pond- flocks of birds in the fields and trees all in some stage of doing what must be done. Some are moving north for the nesting season. Mountain Bluebirds in large flocks come through and in a few weeks leave for the summer. The Buffleheads, Redheads, Scaups, Widgeons, and geese will move to larger sources of water- so the great diversity will soon end. We are their staging area and I am happy about that. Others are coming for the summer Mountain Plovers, Common Grackles, House Finches, and Blackbirds will begin nesting. As for the owls- they are on nests with young and always on the verge of being blown out of the tree.

Still anticipated is the coming of the small songbirds- Warblers, Flycatchers, Kingbirds, to mention a few. Karval might seem remote and desolate, but the birds know where we are. So I’m glad to see what the short grass prairie has to show.

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