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March On Into Spring – I and The Bird #146

Given the date of this #146th edition of IATB, I should be marching in some freezing cold Saint Patrick’s Day parade or at least celebrating in true form with requisite green colored spirits. Alas, living in Costa Rica means that there will be no partying  nor watching of curly-haired Irish dancers for me BUT at least some darn green birds call this tropical country home.

The Resplendent Quetzal has such ridiculously emerald hued plumage that its call should sound like “Blarney! Blarney!” or “Erin go Bragh!” (however that one is pronounced) or maybe even something like “O’Donnell! O’Donnell!” How I wish it sounded like that last ditty but in reality the voice of this wispy-tailed, red velvet bellied, breathtaking cloud forest creature either comes through as a wacky cackle or mellow whistled notes.

Lucky birders visiting the montane forests of Costa Rica at this time of the year have a good chance of hearing those vocalizations because March is breeding season for quetzals and many other reps of the local avifauna. This higher degree of bird song is probably the biggest similarity to the more dramatic Springs of temperate climes. Well, that and bird migration. It’s happening here now as I write and so I’m dying to head down to the Caribbean lowlands to catch the aerial rivers of Turkey Vultures, Swainson’s and Broad-winged Hawks, Eastern Kingbird flocks, and thousands of Chimney Swifts and swallows that blitz through this small country in a matter of hours.

Spring is still early in a lot of places but is definitely kicking into gear throughout the northern hemisphere.  In the state of Georgia, JSK of the “Anybody Seen My Focus?” blog reports on pairs of Eastern Bluebirds. Check out the images to see them showing off their usual beautiful blueness as they investigate neighborhood nesting boxes.

Much further north and a bit west, birders in the Twin Cities are probably still “enjoying” the tale end of winter but this also means that they still have time to get ready for Spring’s heavy avian action. The early Spring days are a good time to gaze at illustrations of ducks, sparrows, vireos, and warblers. Get up to speed on their identification and get psyched to see them with a highly anticipated field guide for the eastern region reviewed by Greg Laden at “Greg Laden’s Science Blog”. If you want to learn how window killed birds can make contributions to science,  see the video posted by Kirk of the “Twin Cities Naturalist” that shows how to prepare a study skin of a Scarlet Tanager.

Winging our way out west, Larry Jordan of “The Birder’s Report” blog entertains with gorgeous images and a video (!) of  mustard-yellow Evening Grosbeaks that brightened up his Springtime California backyard.

Much further south, Jan Axel tells us about birding the cloud forests of western Panama and posts images of some fine photogenic tropical bird species in the process at “Jan Axel’s Blog”.

Heading west across the vast Pacific Ocean, YC Wee of  “The Bird Ecology Study Group” posts fantastic video and images of Rose-ringed and Rose-breasted Parakeets feeding on the seeds of mahogany trees in Singapore.

For a globally themed post, David Ringer at “10,000 Birds” gives us a fun and informative breakdown of the “new” Suliformes bird order.

Thanks to all who sent posts for I and the Bird #146! I and the Bird is a biweekly blog carnaval organized by the people who run the 10,000 Birds website. One of them, Mike Bergin, will host the next edition of IATB (#147).  Please send links and summaries of your favorite blog posts to him by 3/29 to [email protected]

Be sure to check out the usual IATB announcement at 10,000 Birds for a bonus request for information about your favorite “little brown jobs” – those small, difficult to differentiate species that drive us mad. Mike will be asking for species names, photos, and brief descriptions of why they drive people crazy. The deadline for that will be next Thursday, 3/24.

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