15-21 March 2000

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  • Male Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) at Hilton Pond Center are paying close attention to their mates, swimming between them and other males who might be tempted to steal a copulation. Some males are even sitting atop the nestboxes that perhaps are occupied by females with whom they have mated.

  • The pale purplish-pink flowers of Eastern Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are at their peak. The flowers (right) are unusual because they form all along the stem and even on main trunks and limbs of younger trees. (Photo © Hilton Pond Center)

  • In just two or three days, blossoms of Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida) have opened on some trees, while others are just starting to show some white.

  • A heavy storm brought 1.25" of precipitation in the early morning hours of 20 March. Hilton Pond is brownish-red due to run-off of clay soil from neighboring fields.

  • A pair of Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) were swimming at Hilton Pond on 18 March.

  • A male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was ignoring a feeder full of black sunflower seeds and nibbling on fresh green buds of chickweed. It's likely that such fare is high in vitamins and dietary nutrients that may be more important in spring than high-energy oils available from sunflower seeds. (Photo © Hilton Pond Center)

  • HINT: It's a good idea to have at least one hummingbird feeder filled with fresh sugar water mix and hung by St. Patrick's Day (17 March). The earliest Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) banded at Hilton Pond Center was a male that arrived on 27 March 1991.

American Goldfinch
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Purple Finch
House Finch
Mourning Dove

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this Web site--including all articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.