Fort Peck, MT - It is amazing how much things change when you are away for a week in the spring. When I left on Monday last week the lawn was just greening up and the leaves had just popped out of buds on the trees. Now there are flowers on the plum tree and the lilacs have flower buds. The lawn needs to be mowed too.
Yesterday we found an unexpected source of maggots. I am not going to go into where they came from but it should suffice to say that the story surrounding the appearance of these larvae will probably be in Laura's yet-to-be-published Top 10 List of Reasons not to Marry a Biologist. I figured I could at least feed the birds with them so I put the maggots in a small planter bottom and placed it on our picnic table in the backyard yesterday evening. This morning they were all still there so I put the little container next to the pond in the backyard. About noon today a White-crowned Sparrow became curious about what was in the container and slowly danced around the rim until he gained enough nerve to perch on the lip and peer into the bottom. He must have liked what he found and soon he had picked out and ate about three. A male American Robin was watching the whole thing and soon was throwing them down one right after the other. The way he was going I assumed that they were completely gone but a short while later a Dark-eyed Junco was picking out the last of the little buggers.
Yesterday Benton and I took a short walk down near the Missouri River. We found a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, a pair of Caspian Terns foraging in a small creek near the river, and a Marsh Wren chattering like a broken sewing machine in last years cattails along the creek.