Molting White-breasted Nuthatch
Have you seen any feathers on the ground lately?
Its molting season for many of the birds that visit our yards. Molting is the process of losing old feathers and growing fresh replacements.
It’s not unusual to find a feather or two this time of year. Wing and tail feathers are often the easiest to find due to their length. Can you see the newest, half-grown feathers on the wing of the White-breasted Nuthatch pictured above? Look closely.
Molting is easier to see in birds like vultures and hawks as they soar overhead. Look for short or missing feathers on each wing or tail.
Spring-time calls to me like a siren’s song. Enticing all my senses, it compels me to stop and experience what is going on around me.
Each morning I arrive at work, get out of my truck and take 30 seconds to quietly listen. I want to experience who is singing over their territory. It is a great way to begin each day.
I recently attended a professional conference where we were tasked to find a solitary spot in the courtyard garden and write for 10 minutes. My spot was on a marble pergola by a flowing mineral spring. Here is a snippet of what I experienced.
I hear White-breasted Nuthatches, American Crows, Northern Cardinals and a Carolina Chickadee. Song Sparrows battle back and forth in song.
Smell of sulfur from the spring.
Cold from the marble pillar seeps into my back.
An American Robin buzzes the ground, sounding off wing-beat-squeaks as it passes.
The smack of a nut dropped by a squirrel. It chatters and runs through tree branches.
The entrance of a male Cooper’s Hawk. He perches, surveys, and takes flight, catches a small thermal and circles away.
Heed the siren’s song of Spring. Take a nature break and you’ll be amazed at what you experience.