By Mike Busch

As we close out March with lower temps and more snow than even February it seems like Spring may never come.  Thankfully the birds don’t care about the temperature with many of the birds that winter down south back for the summer or migrating through our area.  It was weird to see Osprey out in the snow when just a few weeks ago they were in sunny South America.

It is also a great time of year to see some of the Mergansers, Loons, and Grebes in full breeding plumage before they head north for the winter with some great examples included below.

One image that stood out this week was a beautiful Leucistic Cardinal captured by Bridgette Kistinger below.  This odd-looking bird is not actually albino, but has a condition known as Leucism, a partial loss of pigmentation.  You can read more about Leucistic birds here.

Bridgette Kistinger | Leucistic Cardinal

Other highlights this week from the Long Island Wildlife Photography Group include a great selection of raptors including Red Tailed, Sharp Shinned, Coopers Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Osprey and both immature and full-grown Bald Eagles.   While fairly uncommon just a few years ago, Eagles are making a huge comeback and seem to be popping up all over Long Island.   These Eagles often stake out the same territory as the more established but smaller Osprey.  Since Eagles often prefer to steal food rather than catch it for themselves, watch for some high-speed battles as they try to steal a fresh catch from the Osprey.   These birds seem to truly despise each other and seeing an acrobatic duel is great to witness.

This week’s cover shot goes to Vicki Jauron with a fantastic capture of a recently arriving Piping Plover.  Try to check out all 5 pages of images below and have a great Easter Weekend!

Barbara Bedell | Bluebird

Jim Triumph Immature | Bald Eagle

Barbara Lash | Red Tailed Hawk

Christopher Carl | Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Diane Chatt | Red Breasted Merganser

Donna Crinnian | Common Loon

Fred Kopf | Osprey

Anne Oberland | Monk Parakeet

Harbor Seal | Dr. Artie Kopelman

Jimmy Johnny | Belted Kingfisher

More Images On Pages 2,3,4, and 5