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Despite what the calendar indicates, Spring is bursting out all over. The animals feel it. They are out foraging for fresh food. Insect-eating birds have returned from their winter vacations and are having no trouble finding bugs to consume. A Northern Pygmy-owl spent a couple of days here eating the voles whose dirty handiwork is emerging from the melting snow. I’d hoped the owl would stay longer to put a real dent in the vole population but it has moved on. Both Western and Mountain Bluebirds have arrived. The Western’s are checking out nest boxes and making plans for the upcoming breeding season. It is fun to watch the pairs take turns examining a box and seemingly discussing the pros and cons of each one. ‘Look this one has a nice view’. ‘ Ahh but I like that one over there with the better perch’. Well what about that one out there?’ ‘Too close to the dog corral’. And on and on it goes. The Say’s Phoebe, a pretty bird with a soft, sometimes two-note call has also returned. It is a member of the flycatcher family and easily identified, unlike some of its relatives. And high on our hill I found a singing Western Meadowlark – truly a joyous sound of spring! Most of these birds were pretty distant for photography, except the ferocious looking owl. But that didn’t keep me from trying.

And on another note, Ken took the lids off of his two beehives and sure enough, they are still alive and ready to start foraging as soon as the flowers start to bloom!

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