Spring is a time of change on the Gunflint Trail. The chipmunks are starting to awake from their state of semi-hibernation, the black bears will soon come out of their winter slumber, and the bird migration has begun.
At the feeders, most of the pine siskins are eating as many seeds as they can to fuel up for their northward migration into Canada. The common and hoary redpolls have also been stopping at our feeders on their way to the Arctic.
The forest is alive with the songs of the birds as they establish territory, gather in flocks, and look for mates. On my hike this morning, I heard blue jays, pine siskins, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, red-breasted nuthatches, ravens, crows, and black-capped chickadees.
In the next couple of months, we will look foreword to the arrival and departure of the snow buntings, the coming of the white-throated sparrows with their charismatic northwoods call of “Oh, Oh, Canada, Canada, Canada,” and the return of the various types of waterfowl which come as soon as the ice starts to go out of our lakes and streams.
Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the changes of spring.
Gunflint Lodge Naturalist