Saturday Snapshot April 12: The Hustle and Bustle of Spring

After a long and silent winter, I’m pleasantly surprised by the sounds and activities of spring in the woods. Here I’m just showing you the photos, so you can’t actually hear any sound. But from the images, you can imagine the cacophony there.

The sky is busy, and the woods, actually noisy. Birds beating one another to nesting sites, usually in old tree trunks. All of them are vigilant guarding their own. Avian and human traffic collide. And it looks like the biggest in size makes the loudest calls. No, not me. Canada Geese own the woods.

They’re ubiquitous, their calls dominating the air. And of course, they have the right of way. I nearly got hit by this one:


Right of way

Another standing tall, scouting for nesting site, or maybe guarding one:

Canada Goose scouting for a nesting site


They are all vigilant when it comes to protecting their nests:


I know how much it means to them… Here, a couple gazing out into the late afternoon sun from their front porch:


Canada Geese nesting 1

More are still flapping their wings to better trunks, or maybe just enjoying an evening dip in the setting sun:

Canada Geese flying in woods

In the meantime, there are others making lesser but more melodious calls, like the Robins, happy that winter’s finally over:

The Robinsor the Northern Flicker, charging with renewed energy:

Northern Flicker

Some quietly sharing:

Woodpeckers & Chickadee

or enjoying the (relatively) warm(er) breeze like this Nuthatch:Nuthatch

The European Starling is not just another black bird. A closer look you’ll see the shiny plumage, and their calls are much more pleasing than those of the Geese:

ES Not just a black bird


But the major attraction in the woods is, again, the Owl Family. I’m amazed how they would come back to the same trunk for nesting, and that Papa Owl always stands on guard from a distance, his sharp eyes watching over his own.

Papa Owl watching from afar


I’m mesmerized by his calmness and cool attention. If he needs to, Papa can fight off a Canada Goose with his talons. But he knows when to use force, and when to just placidly stand guard.

This is the old tree trunk he is watching quietly from afar:

Old tree trunk

A closer look you’ll see Mama Owl nesting in there. I’m told by fellow birders that two Owlets have been seen poking their downy heads out partially. But after a long while waiting, craning my neck up, I can only see Mama:

Mama Owl nursing young babes

I’ll have a better chance of taking a family photo once the Owlets fledge.

Canada Geese begin to converge near the Owl’s nest, trying to draw our attention with their jealous squawks.

As the evening sun sinks below the horizon, I can see this Goose making its nest not far from the Owl Family. And I know too, Papa will be keeping watch throughout the night, feeding and protecting his very own.

Canada Goose silhouettes against the setting sun


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.





Published by


If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

36 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot April 12: The Hustle and Bustle of Spring”

    1. Sean,

      Thanks for stopping by the pond. Canadian Geese nest here in the dead tree trunks, but it’s just we have many more this year in this neck of the woods, much more than previous years.


  1. Great birding photos. I am always amazed when I see Canadian Geese in trees. We don’t have many large sturdy trees in our area, so the Geese nest on the ground. The walk everywhere close by. Our highway dept has a Geese Crossing sign near a favorite pond. We will be seeing goslings soon, I think.


    1. jkb4664,

      They love the woods and our park area. So I guess we have lots of area for them to roam. It’s interesting that you even have a Geese Crossing. Glad to know you all are living in harmony. 😉


  2. What great photos! I loved taking this bird walk with you.

    I’ve been able to work out in the yard some this week and the birds seem noisier than usual after our long winter.


  3. You are such a talented photographer. I don’t know how you manage to capture birds in so many different poses, showing their plumage to advantage. I feel as if I’ve been on a walk with you!


    1. Sandra,

      Thanks for your kind words. Actually I’m quite an amateur. I just set the Auto Sport and let my camera take all the consecutive action shots. iPhoto on my laptop does the rest of the editing. 😉


  4. Love all your bird shots. I really enjoyed the owl shots. Still waiting to see one somewhere, somehow, sometime! Have a great weekend.


    1. Ellen,

      Thanks. Glad the Owl Family lives so close by. I’ll keep you posted about the owlets. Hope I’ll have a chance to take a family photo soon.


    1. Charlotte,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’d really enjoyed taking the pics and selecting them for posting. Have to find a story to link them up. 😉


    1. Ali,

      Thanks for stopping by the pond and throwing in your two pebbles. I’ll definitely keep you posted about the Owl Family. Hope to hear from you again. 😉


  5. Fascinating post with terrific images, Arti! I had no idea that geese perch, much less nest in trees. This post is ample proof of that. I love the owls and the robins, northern flicker and the name, nuthatch, I will one day use that for a character. It’s great!


    1. LA,

      As a matter of fact, I found out about Canada Geese nesting in dead tree trunk just last year, after I saw one. Kind of funny seeing them hiding in there. And LOL! You are so creative in thinking. Nuthatch as a character in your next book? I can totally see that! 😉


  6. What a great walk through the spring woods. You’ve taken some amazing photos this week- those in flight ones are great. How wonderful to find the owl family again. Do the owls migrate too? I’d never thought about that, I guess they must. Leslie mentioned silent woods in winter last week too. I don’t think that happens here, I’ll have to pay more attention this year, but we don’t have such an obvious migration as you do. I’ve been enjoying our autumn, while you revel in your spring.


    1. Louise,

      What caught me by surprise was the noise. They were noisy in the woods, esp. so this year. So in a way, that’s birders’ paradise. But then again, i must say, we don’t have so wide a variety of colourful birds as those of you in warmer climates or our neighbours in the South. But, enough for me to get excited about. 😉


  7. These are some terrific shots of the birds. The fact that you captured the owl pics is amazing. I’ve never seen Canada Geese in trees here in Ohio. I think they make their nests on the ground here.


    1. Paulita,

      I found out Geese nest in old tree cavities only last year… after seeing one. It was quite funny, a Goose hiding inside a tree trunk. I’m sure you have lots more varieties of birds than us in the North?


  8. These dazzle me, Arti, as does your narrative. And informative, too. Owls are said to be extremely difficult to photograph and yet you found such amazing shots, particularly the mom, poking out her head. And the close-ups are of such quality. We have geese at the ditch, too, but have never seen them in trees. How Impressive! I know their honking sounds well and can only imagine the other sounds you speak of, birds making their own music and celebrating the spring. It has been a hard winter for the world. I’m glad your birds are back and can’t wait to see more photos of your future walks!


    1. Jeanie,

      These Can Geese mix well with their other avian neighbours, but due to their size, they can be a bully. All the more I appreciate Papa Owl. He looks so calm, cool, and collected. A fellow birder told me she had taken pictures of him fighting off a Can Goose from invading the his family nest. I’m sure Papa is quite fierce if he needs to use force to defend his own. There are always birders setting up tripods mounted with huge long lens ready to capture them, esp. the young owlets. So it’s not hard to know where exactly to find them… just follow the Nature Paparazzi. 😉


  9. The woods are getting busy! Odd as it sounds, I had no idea Canadian geese nested in the trees! Here their nests are always on the ground or in the reeds next to the water, I’ve never even seen a goose sitting in a tree! Those owls are handsome. I hope you get a chance to see the owlets before they lose all their cute baby fluff!


    1. Stefanie,

      I hope to get a family photo soon. Last year I did see the owlets, and they were so cute. Now, I’m just wondering where the previous year’s owlets had gone… come to think of it.


  10. I love the sounds of the birds! You have some fantastic shots here. The owls certainly take a good eye to even find!
    A robin has been attacking his reflection in my front windows – to the point where I had to tape cardboard over them to get him to stop!


    1. Michelle,

      I’m not into video shooting, but maybe a video can bring out the sights and sounds even better. I’m sure you have many more colourful birds down in OK than we have here. Love to see some of them if you by any chance have taken photos of them.


  11. Again, just wonderful. I’ve not done much wandering, myself. Once the warmer weather arrived, it was time for me to get to work, and that’s mostly where I’ve been. Just like animals get skinny during the winter time, my bank account gets skinny, too! Now it’s a little fatter, and I can start getting back to my blogging routine.

    I’m so anxious to see the owlets. This year I swear I’m going to the “owl prowls” at our nature center, so I can learn to identify their calls, and perhaps find one or two on my own. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy our water birds. The egrets and herons are beginning to nest, now. I’ve found one night heron nest in a tree at a marina. I’m not telling a soul – I wouldn’t want someone to disturb it.


    1. Linda,

      Now that you’ve mentioned it, I just realized I haven’t heard the Owls make any sound at all. Papa is so calm, cool and collected, quiet and wise; Mama is so comfy inside the nest. I’d love to hear what their calls sound like.


  12. Beautiful pictures! I learned something new today – I had no idea Canada geese nested in trees! We have many of them here by the sea, but have only seen them swimming, flying, or walking around on the grass or the sand. The fourth picture took my breath away!


  13. Like your other readers I was surprised to see Canada Geese up in trees. I have never seen them in trees here in Georgia, but we have so many pine trees. As for the owl – your pictures are great. I have seen one in the back yard but could never take its picture. Your photos are really fine – it’s not easy to take birds in flight. It must be delightful to take a walk in your woods.


    1. VB,

      You know, I was surprised to find that out too last year when I first saw a goose hiding inside a tree trunk. Also, after the owls were gone last year, their nest was quickly occupied by someone else, the Canada Goose. The weather isn’t that great this past week, still snowing albeit the temp. hovers around 0C. I hope to take more pics of the Owls soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s