If you need further proof…

February 27, 2013 | Greg Dodge

that spring is in the air, take a walk along your favorite hiking trail, around the block in your neighborhood, or better yet, come on over to the Museum and stroll around Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind.

Take a look at just a few of the things I’ve been noticing:

This male Northern Cardinal is not the only cardinal belting out a sweet tune, there were several more within ear-shot of this crimson clad Cardinalis.

During the past few weeks, I’ve noticed our resident Eastern Phoebe making occasional trips under the boardwalk. Phoebes have nested under the boards since I’ve been at the Museum (5 years).

Then, on Friday (2/22) I heard a ruckus over by the Wetlands Overlook. It was a phoebe calling out loudly from the willows just north of the overlook. It wasn’t the namesake “fee-be” call of the bird but a loud chip and chatter that the birds make when they’re excited about something.

Naturally, I wanted to know what was going on with this bird, and then I saw it, another phoebe was perched a dozen feet away in one of the willows. Both birds called out to each other and seemed very excited, pumping their tails rapidly. Was this our bird’s mate, returned from some southern retreat?

Not apparent in this photo is this bird’s interaction with another phoebe nearby.

The Red-shouldered Hawk’s presence in the Wetlands has increased, both soaring overhead and hunting while perched among the willows.

This hawk takes a break from soaring and screaming to see if it can catch a meal.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the Red Wolves. If you’ve read this journal in the past week or so, or visited the Red Wolf Enclosure in person, you’re probably already aware that they (the wolves) have been attempting to make an addition to the Red Wolf population. You’ve probably seen enough pictures of the pair, or have seen them mating in person, so there’s no need to show more images of the same. So I’ll close with these few images of the pair.

The male (left) and the female on Thursday afternoon (2/21).

Our male Red Wolf, a handsome brute.

Are you still reading? Get outside and have a look around!

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