Photo by Corey Husic

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I know we are in the throes of winter, but...

Believe it or not, for the last three years, during this upcoming week in February, the aconite started blooming in my garden!  This year, the poor plants are buried under a few feet of snow.

But there are a few signs of change that come  with the longer day length.  Last week, almost right on cue, I heard the first "Peter, Peter, Peter" of the Tufted Titmouse.  In addition, I heard a male cardinal doing its song "Purdy, Purdy, Purdy, chip".  Both sexes of the cardinal sing, but I actually saw this particular male at the top of a tree in our field singing away.  Given the cold weather and continual snow we have been having in eastern Pennsylvania, I am curious as to what cues make these two species think it is time to sing to the ladies?