I noticed the beginnings of a dawn chorus just this morning. Northern cardinals, song sparrows, a brown thrasher, and white-throated sparrows were singing all at once as soon as first light broke the dark. More species will join in the coming days.
Eastern bluebirds and Carolina chickadees that were casually checking out available nest boxes a few weeks ago will be taking a more pointed interest now. Both species could very well start stuffing a suitable box this month. Maybe the first eggs will be laid.
Great blue herons will return to colonial nesting sites in just a few days, if they haven’t already. The colony that used to be along the boardwalk of the Four-Mile Creek Greenway west of Elm Lane has moved on; the closest one I know of now is along the McAlpine Creek Greenway between Sardis and Providence Roads. Local bald eagles and great horned owls most assuredly have chicks in the nest by now.
Cedar waxwings have been scarce for the last few months, but I predict some large flocks will be appearing soon. Listen for their high-pitched wheezy whistles coming from the tops of trees.
By the fourth week of March hummingbird watchers will be hoping to be the first to spot a returning ruby-throated hummingbird. A few always appear March 29-31. Blue-gray gnatcatchers, blue-headed vireos, white-eyed vireos, Northern parulas, Louisiana waterthrushes, and maybe even a yellow-throated warbler will be appearing in March along the greenway.
You might attract some pass-through species to your feeders that you haven’t seen all winter. Red-winged blackbirds can cause some confusion when they visit if they are in an unfamiliar plumage. The females and immature males do not resemble the males at all. Study the photo of the female red-winged blackbird. You might even pull in something really nice; just this week a painted bunting and a Cape May warbler put in appearances locally. If you attract something special, you know what to do… let me know.