The backyard has had new bird excitement as well. Every backyard birder dreads the resonant "bong" of a bird impacting on a window, but I don't hesitate to check the window areas so I may have the chance to help the injured bird recover. When I saw a bird with dark wings and a bold yellow rump precariously tipped in the flower bed, I didn't hesitate to grab my bird rescue box to give it someplace quiet and safe to recover, but it wasn't until I had the bird in my gloved hands that I realized it wasn't an American goldfinch or a pine siskin - it was a female red crossbill. She recovered quickly and well, and later that day I saw both males and females visiting the feeders to snack on the black oil sunflower seeds. They've returned for a few days now, and I hope they do stay; even though they're not new on my life list, it's always a treat to have more birds in the backyard.
Spring is definitely in the air - as evidenced by the fact that it is raining rather than snowing today - and with the warm breezes and blooming flowers come more visitors to the backyard. Be sure your feeders are clean and full, plant flowers to attract hummingbirds, and refill the birdbath to offer a cool drink on these warming days, and you too will be rewarded with ever more backyard guests.