Transcendentalist that I am, I’m always watching for signs of the turning seasons. Yesterday I was walking along the Fox River here in Geneva, near the wastewater treatment plant, when I heard a dozen or more male Red-winged Blackbirds giving their familiar “konk-a-reee” song. While these are undoubtedly birds that have wintered here, that was the first time this year I have heard them singing. It’s too early for the males to be setting up breeding territories, but their songs said that spring is not all that far off now.
Today I watched as a wintering Eastern Bluebird foraged along the river behind the Kane County office building. He was hawking low to the ground, flying out from a series of low perches, but I couldn’t tell if he was feeding on insects or some other invertebrates. He also spent some time feeding on Staghorn Sumac berries left over from last summer. He made a pretty picture, the rusty red of the berries matching his breast, and contrasting with his bright blue back and wings in the late afternoon sun.