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Spring has Sprung
by Curtis Smalling

Latest Update: March 25, 2015


Pied-billed Grebes can be found on area lakes and ponds right now. Photo by Don Mullaney
Spring has sprung and the birds sure know it with singing really taking off now. It is so nice after a long winter to hear the local birds welcoming the morning. It won;t be long now until the first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds return to the High Country (usually about April 15th) as well as early migrants like Louisiana Waterthrush (probably already singing on the escarpment) Black-throated Green and Black and White Warblers. And some of our winter residents are feeling it as well with Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Purple Finch all in full song at Meat Camp Creek ESA this week.

Waterfowl diversity is up right now with American Coots, Hooded Merganser, Lesser Scaup, Mallard, Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Redhead, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Ducks and others on area lakes this week. There were also still Red Crossbills at Bass Lake on the 24th.

Wednesday walks will begin at Valle Crucis Park on April 8th. Bring binoculars and field guide.

For more information on birds in the High Country call the Watauga Birding Hotline at 828-265-0198. Also visit www.ncaudubon.org, www.carolinabirdclub.org and visit the Audubon North Carolina blog at http://ncaudubonblog.org/blog/ and the High Country Audubon website at www.highcountryaudubon.org


Vesper Sparrows are returning with a few seen at the Boone Greenway this week. Photo by Curtis Smalling


Tree Swallows are returning to the High Country. Photo by Don Mullaney


Louisiana Waterthrush are an early migrant already back in some locations. Photo by Todd Arcos.