A Talk on the Wild Side.
This weekend is the official first day of spring, but you may have seen some of these early signs already. Frozen ponds start to melt, frogs call, flowers start to pop and birds sing. Take a moment to breathe in the season (unless you have allergies).
Mountain bluebird in a narrow leaf cottonwood at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge by Tom Koerner, USFWS.
2. Garter Snakes
As warmer weather arrives in Iowa, DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges see snakes, frogs and turtles out and about. Photo by Veronica Kelly, USFWS.
3. Spring Beauties
Spring beauties are often one of the first wildflowers to bloom. Photo taken at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa by Jessica Bolser, USFWS.
4. Spring Peepers
Spring peepers, wood frogs and Pacific chorus frogs are among early spring frog species you may hear calling. Photo courtesy of Kevin Enge, FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
5. Birds with Nesting Material
Birds carrying around nest material reminds us that spring (and chicks) will arrive soon. This photo of an eastern bluebird is courtesy of John Benson, made available with a CC BY 2.0 license.
As salamanders move to their seasonal pools, they're more commonly seen and mark spring's approach. This photo of an Oregon slender salamander is courtesy of aposematic herpetologist, made available with a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.
7. California Poppies
California Poppies at Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge by Britta Heise and made available under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.
8. Atlantic Salmon
By March, and the onset of Spring, Atlantic salmon eggs are well developed. The eggs hatch in late spring and the yolk sac is gradually absorbed. Photo by Peter Steenstra at the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery.
9. Robin with Worms
Watching an early-morning robin snag a worm (or several) is an experience that feels a lot like spring. This photo is courtesy of Ingrid Taylar, made available with a CC BY 2.0 license.
An early sign of spring in the Midwest is the shrill call of the killdeer. Photo by Tom Koerner, USFWS.