Early spring is such a wonderful time in the wildlife garden because it seems that every day brings exciting new changes: birds are singing, migrants are returning from the south, green shoots are beginning to poke out of the ground, the days are getting longer, and it’s getting warm again. My friends in South Jersey are already hearing the evening chorus of the Tree Frogs.
Now it’s time to get ready for all the excitement!
First, make sure you’ve cleaned your birdhouses so that they are good to go for new nesting birds. Once our birds have returned from their warm wintering spots, they have only one thing on their mind: building a nest for the next generation. So make sure if you haven’t already taken care of this that you do it now.
Although they may not appear in the Northeast for several weeks yet, the first Hummingbird migrants have already arrived at the Gulf Coast. Check your hummingbird feeders so that they are clean and ready to welcome these amazing birds back to your wildlife garden.
Ever notice that there’s a particular spring day when suddenly the bees all burst forth at once from their underground nests? I love bee day! That is when I’m really sure that spring is finally here. Bees and other native pollinators will thrive in your wildlife garden if you’ve laid out a great buffet for them.
And even though it’s still quite chilly, pay attention on those warmer sunny days for the first butterflies of spring. The first butterflies I see in my garden are the Mourning Cloak, which overwinters in tree crevices as an adult butterfly and will come out to feed on warm days, and the Spring Azure, which lays its eggs on a wide variety of native woody shrubs so they can begin this process when the first buds appear on these plants. My shrubs already have buds, so I’m keeping an eye out now.
But I have a confession to make. I’m so eager for spring that I’m cheating a little. Tomorrow I’m heading to Austin, TX where I’ll be touring the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. It’s 34° here and 76° there, so I’m really excited about going now!
What’s happening now in your spring wildlife garden?