It’s beginning to look and feel more and more like spring around here every day. The days are growing longer and temperatures are beginning to warm. Much of the snow at lower elevations has melted and the valley is showing signs that it is about to transform from one season to the next. All of our rivers and streams have become ice-free and some of the lakes are starting to open now, too. Ducks, Canada geese, and other migratory waterfowl have returned from their southern winter retreats, and are searching for suitable nesting sites. It’s been two weeks since I saw a flock of mountain bluebirds in Crowsnest Pass. You know spring is knocking at the door when these colorful birds make their appearance in this part of the province.
Male bluebirds usually arrive first, sometimes a week or more ahead of the females. There were about a dozen male birds in the flock I encountered a couple of weeks ago. Their brilliant sky-blue feathers glistened in the sun as they flew from one patch of open ground to another, searching for a meal. Female bluebirds have finally arrived and are busy looking for worthy mates. On Monday I noticed a pair of bluebirds along a local backroad. There were a number of bluebird boxes in the vicinity, so I’m sure they were house hunting.
I monitor several bluebird houses that I have set up in and around the Pass. Deep snow prevented me from reaching them until a few days ago. I had removed the old nesting material last autumn but wanted to check and make sure the boxes were clean and ready for this season. Everything is in good order, so hopefully, we’ll have some new tenants shortly.