Spring is popping in southwestern Pennsylvania. Here’s what to look for in late April.
- Branching! Great horned owlets are growing up fast. At the earliest nests owlets will walk on nearby branches before the leaves come out. Dana Nesiti photographed this yawning owlet in early April.
- Nest building: Songbirds are building nests especially American robins, song sparrows and Carolina wrens. House sparrows flutter by with cellophane for their nests.
- Migration: Blackbirds and tree swallows are here. Gray catbirds are coming soon. Also Louisiana waterthrush, yellow-throated warbler, hermit thrush, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-headed vireo, brown thrasher, blue-gray gnatcatcher, pine warbler, northern parula, chimney swift, barn swallow and house wren. See them on an outing with the Three Rivers Birding Club.
- Trees: Flowering trees include redbud, downy serviceberry, cherry and more. “Leaf out” comes in early May.
- Wildflowers: Violets, large-flowered trillium, trout lilies, Virginia bluebells and much more. Get outdoors with the Botanical Society of Western PA or Wissahickon Nature Club. Visit Enlow Fork on the last Sunday in April for the Enlow Fork Extravaganza starting at 8:00am.
- Butterflies: Spring azures, cabbage whites, eastern commas, orange sulphurs, red admirals.
- Turkey season: Be careful if you hear a turkey calling; it might be a hunter. Spring Gobbler hunting season runs from the last Saturday in April through all of May. Junior hunters get a one-day early start on the next-to-last Saturday (April 20).
In late April, spring is happening fast. Don’t miss it!
(photo by Dana Nesiti)