Last year, in March, in northwestern Wisconsin, this is what some people recorded:
- Seeing the first bald eagle.
- Seeing the first robin.
- Seeing the first chipmunk.
- Pussy willows blooming.
- Trees tapped for maple syrup.
- Skunks emerge from dens.
- Red-winged blackbirds.
- White-throated sparrows.
- Hawks return.
- Redpolls at feeder.
- Went skiing for the last time.
Compare these observations to some of the general things that happen in northern Wisconsin in March as noted in the Cable Natural History Museum 1997 Phenology Calendar:
- Bald eagles returning and courting, eating mainly winter-killed deer.
- Male, red squirrels can be seen chasing females over the snow.
- Mars is at opposition to the earth and is visible all night. We pass Mars every 2 years.
- March 20 is Vernal Equinox — The first day of spring.
- Chipmunks are beginning to come out of hibernation. They ate stored seeds all winter, but will now also eat mice, eggs, insects and small snakes. They have to look out for a mob of predators, including most hawks, owls and mammals.
- Male red-winged blackbirds return before females. They will be establishing territories and starting to build nests in cattail marshes in mid-April when females return.
- River otters giving birth in dens near lakes or streams.
[Image: Courtesy of Mike Crowley; available for sale at his website Life in the Northwoods]