Winter in the Rearview Mirror

HNWR_4862 a It’s been a tough winter; it turned out to be the second snowiest winter on record. Thankfully the arrival of spring is both imminent and welcome. As the seasons change at Heinz Refuge, here’s a last look at winter, receding in the rearview mirror.

HNWR Eagle_5236 aAlready the promise of spring is being fulfilled. Our resident Bald Eagles are incubating eggs, and we are eagerly anticipating the arrival of eaglets soon.

HNWR Sparrow Fox_6514 acs Fox Sparrow on the Pipeline Trail.

HNWR Duck Pintail Teal_6432 acsOld-timers at the Refuge can’t remember a winter where the impoundment has been frozen solid for so long. Now it’s open water, for the first time since January. And guess what that means? The ducks have come back! Northern Pintails are in the rear – note the long tails that give them their name. Green-winged Teal in front. If you look closely at the second Teal from the left, you can just see the green speculum, or wing patch. (Remember you can click the image for a larger view.)

HNWR Duck Shoveler_6596 acs Northern Shoveler.

HNWR Goose_5184 acs2Duck, duck, goose. Ever wonder if birds have tongues? Here’s proof positive! Canada Geese, honking on the go.

HNWR Duck Wigeon_6638 acs An American Wigeon tries to stare me down.

HNWR Duck Pintail_6630 acsA pair of Northern Pintails, male and female.

Duck Collage 4 Here’s a duck roundup. Clockwise from top left, female Common Merganser, male Common Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser.

HNWR Towhee_6504 acsEastern Towhee is shaking his tail feathers, clearly excited to wave goodbye to winter.

Welcome Spring!

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