Winter Ending…Spring Emerging

By Joe Sebastiani, Seasonal Program Team Leader

Make plans for the weekend to get outside and enjoy some of the seasonal change from winter to spring.  This week I’ve led trips at Hoopes Reservoir, Ashland Nature Center, Burrows Run Preserve, Auburn Heights State Park, and Bucktoe Creek Preserve.  We’ve seen a lot of examples of both winter and spring on our programs lately. There is a lot of change happening in the natural world right now, from frogs emerging and laying eggs, to new birds showing up in their spring migration. Tree Swallows and an Eastern Phoebe have returned to Ashland this week.

Take a look at the video below to see some highlights.  The snow has melted, and the streams and wetlands are full.  Many wintering birds are still around including the White-throated Sparrow and Golden-crowned Kinglet (look fast!).  Raptors like the Merlin have been seen at Ashland and Bucktoe Creek Preserve and a Saw-whet Owl was seen near Ashland Nature Center this week.  The owl was probably a migrant stopping in for the day.  Frogs like Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs have emerged.  I had to cheat for the video and catch a Spring Peeper so you could see how they make their incredibly loud sounds.  Wood Frogs have laid lots of eggs in local vernal pools.  Notice how the Wood Frog vocalizes differently than the Spring Peeper.  This weekend, pick a local park, take a walk, and find your own signs of winter and spring.  Report back and leave a comment on the blog to let us know what you are seeing, or what your favorite sign of spring is.

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