Signs of Spring

Wow, Spring sometimes has a tendency to sneak up on a person. But, the animals are rejoicing in the warm temperatures and some are in full migration mode. To look at the MOU listserve, spring has sprung in southern Minnesota. They are seeing so many FOY (first of year) birds down there that I can’t help but get a little jealous. But, if you look closely we are seeing many signs of Spring up here too in northern Minnesota.

Yesterday on my way to town I saw a Peregrine Falcon and a pretty good size flock of Snow Buntings heading north. Snow Buntings are now sporting their black and white breeding plumage if they’d sit still long enough to see it!

Canada Geese were making their way north looking for any open water to settle down on. The Pelican River by the Dam Supper Club held a couple Geese. The part of Pelican Lake, where the Pelican River flows out, will be open soon. That portion of open water will attract lots of waterfowl and other migrants anxiously waiting for the ice to go out.

Today a Chipmunk has come out to see what’s going on in the outside world. They’ve been holed up underground since last November.

Bald Eagles are showing up in increasing numbers and pretty soon we’ll see the first Gulls of the year.

Another sign of Spring up north here is when the Spring road restrictions go into effect. According to MNDOT that will be March 18th. The frost is coming out of the ground and some roads get extremely bumpy. Heavy trucks would damage the road while this is happening. Logging trucks can not operate on certain roads until later in the season. It is known locally as “break-up”, and it is a time to celebrate! Many people venture out on area lakes to go ice fishing and enjoy the long anticipated break in the cold weather. It’s also a good time for birders to explore the back roads in the forest as one doesn’t have to worry about running into a logging truck.

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