Posted on March 20, 2012 by Mary Williamson


The vernal equinox always brings an explosion of animal and bird activity, along with our own.  Now you can hear owl cries: the whistled toots of the little saw whet owl, almost like the backup beeping of a truck;the barred owls’ “who cooks for you?” and the call of the screech owl, which doesn’t actually screech – it makes soft low hoots, and a whinnying sound like a horse.

If you want to see bountiful migrating waterfowl, go to the Arthur Ewell Reservation in Rowley. You can see green-winged and blue-winged teal,  wood ducks, hooded mergansers, ring-neck ducks and American wigeon, among others, performing their spring courtship. If you get up before the sun, you’ll be in time to see otters around the pond at trail edges.

Here at the Cox Reservation, bluebirds returned many days ago, spotted by artists who paint out on our meadows.  You can spot bluebirds by their habit of hopping straight to the ground from low-hanging branches, then hopping straight back up. If you’d like to build an Eastern Bluebird nest box, you can download plans from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Some of us have heard the spring peepers and some have not, depending on where we live. But we are all ready for their heralding cry of spring.

To hear the hoots of the saw whet owl, visit



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