SPRING IS FOR THE BIRDS

Springtime to me means a whole variety of things. When I was a kid growing up on the rural route, I still remember how the new green grass felt to tender bare feet when my mama said it was okay to shuck shoes and socks. Weeks later those same feet could walk the gravel road in front of our house without causing a whit of discomfort.
Today, I no longer pad about in bare feet unless its to the bathroom from the bedroom in the middle of the night. Even then I move carefully to keep from locating the leading edge of a cabinet with my little toe.

What I like about spring today has more to do with the sights and sounds I hear as the world is waking up to a fresh new season. It mainly has to do with song birds.
Yesterday, my wife remarked that as she took our new pup out for it to take care of “business” that would later prevent having to wipe something up from the floor, the wake up music of bird song was mesmerizing. She likened it to “surround sound”.

If you haven’t treated yourself to the early morning avian orchestra as it tunes up for the day, you need to step outside before the sun rises just to stand and listen. It can set the stage and create a mood to carry you through the day.

Spring is the season for new beginnings in the world of birds. If you have a nesting box set up in your yard, there is a good chance the box has drawn attention from a pair of birds. Sometimes the pair could consist of chickadees; sometimes tufted titmice but more likely, you’ll see splashes of blue as Eastern bluebirds make their plans to perpetuate their species in housing you provide. I had noticed bluebirds showing interest in a box I have mounted in the yard, saw them transporting beaks full of pine straw to the box to construct a suitable nest so the female could settle down and deposit her eggs.

I was gratified in checking the box a couple of weeks ago to find two sky-blue eggs then a few days later, the clutch had grown to five. Last week, a peek into the box revealed what the whole operation was about; there were five blind, naked baby bluebirds that responded with yellow-fringed beaks that flew open when I opened the box, expecting to receive a morsel of grasshopper, cricket, worm or spider.

I moved away letting the parents do what bird parents do and that’s stuffing bugs and stuff into hungry gullets. Within a few weeks, those same little blind, naked fledglings will have grown flight feathers and will take their first halting flights from the box out into the world.

My assist to perpetuating the avian species here at home moved up another notch when a tiny little bird equipped with a foghorn of a voice tried to set up shop in my garage. I still haven’t figured out how a tiny Carolina wren can produce a tune that loud. It’s like sitting on the front row at a rock concert and having to cover my ears to dampen the sound. The little wren was insistent on nesting in the garage but didn’t have the gumption to realize that the door is closed most of the time.

She picked an alternate spot and I am content to let it happen; the pair is building a nest on the back porch and has selected a small area on top of the sun screen we use to block the afternoon sun.

If we choose to sit on the porch on sunny afternoons for the next few weeks, I suppose we’ll wear sun shades and hats to block the sun for awhile as it’s a small price to pay to have given Mother Nature the okay to bring another family of birds into the world.

”Bluebirds are starting to rear their young in nest boxes around the area.” – Glynn Harris Photo

FISHING REPORT

CANEY LAKE – The crappie are around shallow brush during the spawn while some have already spawned and are moving out. Shiners and jigs are taking some fish. Some bass are still hanging around the beds with a big 11.14 pounder caught on a creature bait. The bluegills and chinquapins are beginning to show up around shallow spawning areas with worms and crickets beginning to take some nice fish. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU
– Fishing has improved. Bream are starting to bite around the beds. Crappie are fair to good around the trees on shiners or jigs. No report on bass. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Crappie fishing has been best in the back of the river lakes on jigs and shiners. Bass are fair in the same areas. Bream are bedding and biting worms and crickets. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass fishing has been fair with trick worms in Watermelon Seed patterns working best. The crappie are fair with some still spawning in shallow water while others have completed the spawn and moved out. The bream are starting to bed and lots of big blue gills and chinquapins are being reported. Catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing has been fair to good on shiners and jigs with some caught around shallow spawning areas while others have moved back off to deeper water. Yo-yos baited with shiners taking lots of fish at night. Bream fishing is improving with fish moving into the shallows around the lake. Bass have been best fishing around the boat docks up the creeks with creature baits and soft plastics catching some. No report on stripers or catfish. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good on cold worms. Crappie fishing is fair as most of the fish have moved out to deeper water. Bream fishing is improving on worms and crickets. No report on bass. For latest, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN –Catfishing is good while bream are improving, bass and crappie are fair. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is still too high for launching. No fishing this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

 


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