Signs of Spring

March 11, 2022 by Team Journey North

The March equinox is just over a week away and spring migration is gathering momentum. What birds are you noticing? Report your first observations of Red-winged Blackbirds, Barn Swallows, Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles, and Common Loons to Journey North. For other species, use the "All Other Signs of Spring" reporting category.

“Palm Warbler! I don’t get them except late winter occasionally.” Photo Diana in Schriever, LA (03/04/2022)

Journey North Species

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird migration is still well ahead of other species. Journey North volunteers are noting their arrival in the Upper Midwest and Canada despite cold temperatures.

Kim in Freedom, WI: “First Red-winged Blackbird of the year in a marshy area.” (03/05/2022)

Connie in Harrowsmith, ON: “An exciting event! First Red-Winged Blackbird sighting, a true sign of spring here.” (03/05/2022)

Scott in Kinloss, ON: “First male RWBB sighted at Black Oil Sunflower seed feeder in am (07:30). -7deg C with windchill (wind SSE 9km/h)” (03/11/2022)

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows are starting to be spotted in Texas.

Marian in Ben Arnold, TX: “Observed 3 birds [Barn Swallows] flying.” (03/09/2022)

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

Early reports of Baltimore Orioles are coming from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Christy in Mt Pleasant, SC: “Both [Baltimore Orioles] came to cylinder feeder and picked mealworms out. They flew into the oak tree above and appeared to be in a standoff.” (03/03/2022)

Jenny in Silver Spring, MD: “Female Baltimore Oriole at feeder - Same one as 2 weeks ago or new one?” (03/05/2022)

In Louisiana, one lucky Journey North volunteer appears to have an overwintering Bullock’s Oriole in their area.

Diana in Schriever, LA: “This Bullock’s Oriole has been here since 11-16-2021! Last year had an immature in Feb/ March. Not sure if he’s the same??? Beautiful!” (03/04/2022)

Common Loon

No new reports of Common Loons. Has ice melted in your area? Common Loon arrivals often follow ice-out dates. 

Chuck Henrikson’s Birding Report

Similar to others, Chuck Henrikson is also noting the return of Red-winged Blackbirds. What other birds is he observing at Journey North’s home base, the UW–Arboretum? Find out in his latest birding report.

“Last Wednesday, March 2nd, I heard the first Red-winged Blackbird singing on Curtis Prairie … The males come first and set up territories on Curtis Prairie. Then about a month later the females come to join the males, breed, build nests, lay eggs and raise young.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #103»

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Dr. David Aborn’s weekly Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds reports return next week!