BY GARY PHILLIPS — For The Sun News
With the onset of spring-like weather and the lengthening of daylight hours, seasonal changes are becoming evident all around us.
Native red maples (Acer rubrum) have been in bloom for a few weeks now, and native Carolina laurel-cherry (Prunus caroliniana) are also flowering. Many deciduous plants are sprouting new growth, and some insect species are emerging.
Spring is a time of change, and in addition to changes of plants and insects in evidence, many other animals are exhibiting their own seasonal awakenings, and those of the birds are perhaps the most easily observed.
Invariably, there are some bird behavioral changes, usually most notable in mockingbirds, bluebirds and cardinals that become a cause for distress in some folks.
Bird behavior is under hormonal control. When to migrate north or south; when to start the breeding season; when to fatten up for migratory treks or to survive winter are all influenced by the amount of light in a day, known as photoperiod.