April is the Coolest Month…

“Spring” in Montana is a weeks long exercise in frustration. Gray skies, wind-blown dust, snow storms, driving sleet…it drives me nuts.

But when I hear the snow geese honking overhead as they make their way north, or see “my” eagles fixing up their nests I get a glimmer of hope that change is really on the way. One by one, the birds return: first, of course, are the huge flocks of snow geese and tundra swans. Then one day a mountain bluebird streaks from a fencepost, followed by a western meadowlark singing from another post. Redwinged blackbirds are suddenly everywhere, and the ducks! Northern shovelers, buffleheads, and hooded mergansers suddenly appear in ponds and rivers where just last week there were only lonely mallards. The gorgeous pelicans come back, and the grebes are changing into their silly breeding hairdos. The osprey usually take longer to show up, but I did see an industrious fellow last week, busily repairing his nest.

When I  hear the rattling call of the sandhill cranes, and see them gliding into their favorite stubble fields…that’s when I know that winter is truly over.  They’re here.  It’s spring.

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About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Birding, Life, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to April is the Coolest Month…

  1. avian101 says:

    Hurray! 🙂

  2. Beautiful photos of Sandhills cranes. Thanks!

  3. lrobbins555 says:

    What about when the snowbirds return from Arizona?

  4. brickthomas says:

    I loved your description of spring and the cranes in parallel flight.

  5. Lyle Krahn says:

    What a great description of spring. I think I like the Sandhills more each year.

  6. Mind Margins says:

    I LOVE the sandhill cranes. There is something so majestic about them. We have your pelicans here in the summer, and their numbers are growing. And the red winged blackbirds are here pretty much all year. This winter we even had a swan show up at the lake! How do we know it’s spring in Texas? Thunderstorms and tornadoes!

  7. alpinemystic says:

    I had no idea they had that red mask; thanks for sharing!

  8. Wild Writes says:

    I love spring in Montana. Can’t wait to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in Big Sky country! Great post.

  9. Janet says:

    I enjoy your blog. I look for birds now.

  10. Sue says:

    Now I’m jealous. I should be seeing Sandhill Cranes here in MN too. Those are some great shots you got.

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