On some January days, we really need to search for signs of spring.
This week, we’ve heard House Finches singing, the Cardinals are more aggressive and harder to count, and some male Goldfinches look a bit more yellow. And the buds on neighborhood trees seem to be swelling, like these maple buds from down the street:
And we’re still searching for White-winged Crossbills in our neighborhood. We gained some hope this morning when a birder reported Crossbills in a Westchester yard, a few miles to the southwest. But our hopes were dampened by an IBET discussion about what Crossbills eat. They have a tough time opening cones of Norway and Blue Spruce — and guess which spruce are common in our neighborhood?
By the way, I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Columbus Park today. It wasn’t a sign of spring — just a winter visitor that lingered further north than its kin. But the sapsucker got me thinking about what’s going on inside all those barren trees. The tree sap must moving — otherwise, why would the buds be swelling? And what would the sapsucker sip?