FOR THE BIRDS: Blackbirds and pussy willows mark spring

The pussy willows and the bird song confirms the season for me.

I really do have that spring feeling today.

The sun shines, I have water and mud accumulating everywhere, the dogs slop about with their muddy paws.

The pussy willows and the bird song confirms the season for me.

Let me tell you about some of the sightings readers have called in.

A varied thrush has been heard and seen. You will notice they have a one-note song.

The first red-winged blackbirds have come back.

The males come first, then after everything is ready for family affairs the females appear on the scene.

Karen asked me about food for red-winged blackbirds and other spring arrivals.

The cheapest food is probably the big bags of fine corn.

Birds eat it and it doesn’t grow into interesting weeds.

Like all bird food the stuff left behind has to be raked up to prevent illness.

There was a discussion if the cranes have come over yet. At the time of these words I haven’t seen them.

Mind you there are many geese and swans making their way north.

The common redpolls have been around in great numbers.

These flocks will soon disperse and head north to their nesting grounds in the arctic scrub and tundra.

The flock of 60 plus gray-crowned rosy finch stayed for a couple days and have now left.

On to more important things in their lives.

I was listening to CKUA radio the other night.

On the show “The Road Home” the host mentioned a lake in Alberta where thousands of snow geese had gathered.

This great radio station can be found online as well as on 828 if you have satellite TV.

Mountain bluebirds are on the scene as well.

Time to check the nesting boxes if you have them.

A reader from Fort Nelson told me she had taken down the swallow boxes to clean and found one box with three dead birds inside.

One good reason to make sure we get busy with the cleaning.

Some readers suggest putting a bit of nesting material back into the boxes.

Could be some feathers or grass material.

Do bat boxes have to be cleaned?

I have to tell you I am not sure about that.

The construction of the box makes sure that the droppings fall out.

Talking about droppings I did a bit of research about moose droppings.

Since I have so much around I wondered if it was good for the garden. Apparently so. I’m going to collect up some of that stuff. Better than the dogs eating it all the time.

That was a great week of calls coming to 250-846-5095. Good question along with e-mail notes came to mallory@bulkley.net.