It has taken a while, even though it seems like forever, but the birds are nearly all back. The robins are still waiting for nicer weather, but a few others are already here and some are looking for places to build their nests.
The snow is gradually melting, and we are expecting more on Monday, but that is not unusual for around here at 3400 feet of altitude. The birds do not seem to mind, I have seen (but not so far this year) the robins sitting on tree branches in droves, while the snow falls all around them. I have no idea what they eat, since the ground is covered.
I have a couple of bird feeders, one that only serves up sunflower seeds, and the other a suet feeder. Both get a fair amount of use in the summer, but experience limited use in winter. In the fall the young birds and the parents swarm the feeders, and then the flock seems to thin out. The birds at issue here are all sparrows, with a couple of chickadees thrown in.
I have seen a number of purple finches that have returned already. We have a nest somewhere in the area, but I have yet to see it. They do inhabit the feeder looking for the sunflower seeds, ignoring the suet. They are not nest box users either.
The crows are also back, and while they will winter in the mountains to the west of us, they do not hang around Calgary in the winter. A V formation of 6 Canada Geese flew over the house yesterday. We do not see much of them where I live during the winter, but there are usually a thousand or so that stay around the Bow River where the water stays open all winter.
I mentioned the two birdhouses I have. One is sized for a wren, and while I have seen wrens in the area, I have never seen them at the birdhouse I built for them, The other birdhouse I have is built for tree swallows, but it seems that the sparrows can get in, build a nest and then they keep everyone else out. When we had a cottage in BC, I had 4 birdhouses and we always had them filled with either Green Swallows or Tree Swallows. The swallow is one of the most interesting birds we can have. They are magnificent flyers and have a pleasing song. They feed on insects that are in the air, and the swooping and diving is interesting to watch. While I wish we could establish a swallow community around here, I am content with the idea that sparrows are better than no birds at all!
I will be watching for any changes to our bird community and I will keep you posted. By the way, if you do have a bird house, it is time to clean it out and ready it for the next resident. The sparrows had been looking in the nest from last year, so I cleaned it out and we are now getting a pair very interested in it.
Have a great Easter