Spring Awakening | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Spring Awakening

The following is a short social media posting we used to engage our audience across our social media platforms. I would love to hear your thoughts, stories, comments on how spring is awakening in your neck of the woods.

Spring is a great time of year to listen to the awakening of the Earth. It’s literally abuzz with a euphony of sounds. We’re all used to the sounds of robins, cardinals and other daytime visitors as they call to each other and set up their territories, but have you given yourself the time to listen at night?

The night is generally a time of quiet, when the bustle of the day has passed by. Perhaps, you can take a listen and hear something new.

Try turning your outdoor lights down low for a few nights so nighttime visitors won’t be scared away. Perhaps you’ll hear the call of a Great Horned Owl, the peep peep of the Spring Peeper, the rustle of leaves or sway of trees in a gentle breeze.

You may even be able to see some new celestial objects in the night sky. Grab a pair of binoculars if you have them and look up at the moon.

Enjoy the spring awakening.

I was greeted with the first trills of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) on April 6th, in central Pennsylvania. Crepuscular and nocturnal species are high on my yearly list of notable nature events. In addition to frog calls, the display of the American Woodcock and calls of Whip-poor-will usher in the different phases of Spring to me. I'll be looking forward to the calls of nocturnal, neotropical migrants in May. Thrushes and cuckoos are some of my favorites.

Thanks for starting this thread, Taralynn; these are enjoyable to read. While there are certainly birds singing (including our owl neighbors), but not amphibians (that is a summer monsoon season thing here, not spring), spring means one thing to me: snake dens!

Even here in the southwest US, snakes spend the winter tucked away in a den, often with their friends and family. Although it varies among species and places, March and April are peak times for emergence and activity around communal snake dens:
- Little rattlesnake faces peeking out from rock crevices,
- Piles of snuggling snakes under rocks or enjoying the warm sun,
- Or for spring breeders like Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnakes, ritualistic combat between males and courtship.
My partner is actually running some cameras at a nearby den complex right now to capture more of these behaviors... this has been keeping him very busy the last month or so.

I should also mention our yard and soon-to-be garden beds are also alive again with lizards and (unlike last spring) native pollinators! Watching lizards, mostly Ornate Tree Lizards, performing their pest control job in the salad greens is wonderful and I'm SO HAPPY the insects have returned.

Two Rock Rattlesnakes (gray rattlesnakes with dark brown bands) peeking out from underneath some rocks.
Two Rock Rattlesnakes (gray rattlesnakes with dark brown bands) peeking out from underneath some rocks.

I've definitely been hearing frogs (though not sure what species) while out running near some wooded areas and streams. I've also noticed a shift in the birds at my backyard feeder (lots more red-winged blackbirds).