- Depending on the weather, ducks may begin migrating
any time after the middle of the month. Watch lakes and
reservoirs regularly as soon as the ice begins to melt.
On any given day, species may be different from the
previous day or from those on a nearby body of water.
There are times this month and next when each of the
Columbia lakes and Centennial Lake is likely to have at
least one species not found on any of the others.
- Northern Pintails are early migrants; most of the few
birds seen each year are found in late February and early
- Redheads have become increasingly rare in the county.
Search lakes and ponds from mid-February until late
- Killdeer may return in numbers after the middle of
the month; some years they are not widespread until
- From late February until early May, watch for
Wilson's Snipe in wet, muddy, grassy areas and along pond
edges. A few usually winter.
- American Woodcock first appear around the middle of the
month, usually after a thaw. Their courtship flights at
dusk and dawn can be seen consistently until near the end
of April, sporadically into May. The most consistent location is in fields along
Hipsley Mill Road.
- Continue to check gull flocks for species other than
Ring-billed or Herring.
- Great Horned Owls are incubating. Look for twiggy
nests in the main crotch or secondary crotches of mature
deciduous trees, less often conifers. Most often they use a hawk's nest,
occasionally that of a crow or even a squirrel. Look for
"horns" or "ears" sticking above the edge of the nest.
This species is often easier to find in March when the
female may be sitting higher after the eggs have hatched.
- Erect new bluebird boxes by the middle of the month.
Make sure old boxes are in good repair and a predator
guard is present below each box.
- American Robin flocks begin to appear from
- Fox Sparrows move in if there is a thaw. They are most frequently seen from late February
through the third week of March in thickets and brushy
areas. Occasionally, they are spotted under feeders
scratching in their distinctive two-footed style.
- It is normal for bird numbers to drop in late winter,
but that may not be obvious when a large mixed blackbird
flock descends on a yard. Some may continue to visit
feeders well into April or even May. Rusty Blackbirds are
generally not present in such groups; rarely, a
Yellow-headed Blackbird may associate with a flock.
- Singing Red-winged Blackbirds are a welcome sign of
- House Finches start singing in mid-February.
- The best time to spot Common Redpolls (which are
uncommon here) is mid-January to early March. Most
sightings occur at feeders.