PHOTOS: Feathered friends see first signs of spring
BEMIDJI -- Most people can’t wait for spring to arrive, and backyard bird watchers are usually especially eager. As the snow melts and nature begins to come back to life, birds also make their way north.
According to the Audubon Society, some of the earliest spring migrants are killdeer, blackbirds and American robins. Pioneer photographers Annalise Braught and Jillian Gandsey spent some time out capturing these birds on Monday, as they enjoyed their first glimpses of spring.
1/6: A killdeer guards its nest on Monday on the Bemidji State campus. Killdeer nest on lawns or gravel roofs, according to the Audubon Society. They are known for fooling people with a “broken wing” act, in which it flutters along the ground in a show of injury, luring intruders away from its nest. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
2/6: A Brewer's blackbird perches on a fence along 24th Street on Monday. This common blackbird adapts well to habitats altered by humans, and often it may walk about on suburban sidewalks or scavenge for crumbs around restaurants, according to the Audubon Society. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
3/6: An American robin sits in a maple tree on Monday morning. Some robins winter as far north as Canada, so often when northerners see their "first robin of spring," it may be a bird that has wintered nearby, not one that has just arrived from southern climates, according to the Audubon Society. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
4/6: An American robin sits in a silver maple tree along 24th Street on Monday. According to the Audubon Society, males often arrive before females on nesting grounds and defend territories by singing, sometimes by fighting. In early stages of courtship, females may be actively pursued by one or several males. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
5/6: A black-capped chickadee sits on a tree branch on Monday afternoon. As year-round residents to the north, little flocks of black-capped chickadees often enliven the winter woods with their active behavior and their cheery-sounding chick-a-dee call notes as they fly from tree to tree. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
6/6: An American robin sits in a maple tree on Monday morning. The robin's rich caroling is among the earliest bird songs heard at dawn in spring and summer, often beginning just before first light. Their song is described by the Audubon Society as a series of rich caroling notes, rising and falling in pitch: cheer-up, cheerily, cheer-up, cheerily. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)