The problem is (not that I’m complaining), it’s felt like March for most of this winter. Warmest and least snowy winter on record in the Albany area. When it’s 60F and sunny, how can we help expecting spring birds?
But I look out the window and see Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows. Red-breasted Nuthatches have only just abandoned my feeders for the Rensselaer hills, and the Spring Peeper chorus, while loud, hasn’t reached its ear-shattering peak yet.
Some things have certainly been earlier than in other years. The big Spotted Salamander migration (down a hill and across a road) happened two weeks ago. Usually it’s not until the end of March at the earliest. They’re responding to local conditions, though. The ground is soft, the rain is warm, and that’s all they need.
Birds migration is triggered by day length among other things, and as a wise man said today, they don’t know what the weather’s like 1500 miles to the north. They don’t outfly their food supply. If we keep having these mild winters, though, and bugs hatch out earlier before the birds are here for the feast, will they find enough food to reproduce and feed their young ones?
So we miss you, spring birds. But take your time. We’ll be waiting for you.