Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Treetop visitors

Spring’s leafless trees are a far cry from Shakespeare's bare ruined choirs of winter. Where late the sweet birds sang is springing to life with song. Those branches are the hotels and summer homes of countless migrants.

The earliest of the tree flowers are blooming. Where there are flowers, there are usually insects. And where “bugs” are, birds are sure to follow. In fact, insects drawn to the early-flowering trees are important food for warblers, tanagers and other small migrants heading north in the weeks to come. Some will stop here to nest for the summer while many others eat and run, heading farther north.

For bird watchers the leafless limbs of early spring are a blessing. The scores of colorful arrivals are much easier to spot without lots of green blocking the view.

So instead of watching spring arrive on the thermometer, dust off the binoculars and point them to the passing parade of treetop visitors.

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