By Mike Busch

This week marked the official start of Spring and despite the cold temperatures, there are plenty of signs that the wildlife scene is getting ready for some big changes.

Luckily the Long Island Wildlife Photography Group  is spread out over Nassau and Suffolk,  posting amazing shots of these changes and sharing them with the rest of us.

The biggest story this week was the arrival of the first wave of Osprey returning from South America.  For more about their long trip and a bunch of the the Long Island Wildlife Photography Group’s favorite photos click here.

Besides that Marie Cooke found and photographed a Dickcissel, a sparrow like bird normally seen in the prairie grasslands of Middle America in the summer.  Since they winter in South America this was a rare find on two counts!

Other notable birds this week are American Woodcock, Red Headed Woodpecker, and an American Coot out of water with some of the craziest looking feet you will wind on any creature.

Many other birds are showing breeding plumage, looking for mates, or actively building nests.

I added a video on the bottom of page 6 of a pair of Red Bellied Woodpeckers working overtime on a new hole.

A great example of breeding plumage is this week’s cover photo of a Common Loon by Carole Ryder.

Try to take an extra minute and scroll through all 6 pages!

Dickcissel | Marie Cooke

Black Scoter | David Gardner

Common Loon | Carole Ryder

Coopers Hawk | Cathy Kovarik

Osprey | Diane Prokip Chatterton