Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, April 6, 2003
The ruby-throated hummingbirds are returning from their wintering grounds in Central America. They have been spotted as far north as Ohio and Indiana.

As with some other birds, the males
return first, with the females arriving
a bit later.

Few, if any, flowers are in bloom when the hummingbirds arrive in
the northern part of their range. So instead of feeding on flower nectar, they drink sap from the holes that yellow-bellied sapsuckers drill in trees. Along with the sap, they also eat insects that are attracted to the sapsucker wells.
Saturday, April 5, 2003
I'm glad to say we only had three or four inches of new snow - instead of 8 to 16 inches! But there was also some rain, so now there's a crust on top of the snow. That may keep the deer from traveling much until it warms up and the crust softens up a little.

I noticed today that a few of the goldfinches have almost completed their molt. But it sure doesn't seem much like spring!

I think it's time for a wildflower-viewing break. Here's a nice photo of fireweed and another of marsh marigolds.
Friday, April 4, 2003
Whitetail DeerThe ground was almost bare for a couple of days there. I didn't see any deer during that time. Then, after the snowfall on Wednesday night, I started seeing them again.

We had about five more inches of snow last night, and I wouldn't be surprised if the deer came down out of the woods this evening at twilight.
They predict 8 to 16 inches of snow this afternoon and tonight. I sure hope it's less,
because the deer and the bears are very hungry this time of year. Snow cover makes it hard for them to find nutritious food.
Thursday, April 3, 2003
Saw a flock of robins feeding on the sumac fruit today. We had a couple of inches of snow last night, which makes it more difficult for seed-eating birds to find food. But there's still plenty of fruit on the sumac bushes for the robins and other birds that eat fruit.

Still haven't seen any signs of the woodcock, though it has been spotted in other nearby areas.
Wednesday, April 2, 2003