You can hear the songs of the little birds as they fly back into the Bitterroot Valley now that the snow seems to be melting away. Bob Danley in this week's KLYQ Bitterroot Outdoor Journal has seen an increasing number of the usual warm weather fliers, including both the Western Bluebird and the Mountain Bluebird (see photo above). There's a "hatch" going on along the Bitterroot River, so you can see those birds in the vicinity, snatching up insect dinners. After the hatch, you'll find Western bluebirds among the Ponderosa Pines and Mountain bluebirds near grasslands. Tree swallows and Violet-green swallows are also returning. Bob suggests you get your nest boxes cleaned out so the bluebirds and swallows have nesting places. The boxes have made a difference over the years. And a little guy called the Say's Phoebe is found around sheds and outbuildings. (see photo below)

The numbers will increase for all winged critters, including Sandhill Cranes, Turkey Vultures, Ring-billed Gulls, and Varied Thrush. Wildflowers will be poking up between the snowbanks, too. Enjoy your outdoor time, but be aware that the forest roads are not good options until the melting and flooding seasons are over. Bob's reports are heard weekly (usually on Thursdays about 7:45 a.m.) on KLYQ 1240 Radio and www.klyq.com.

Say's Phoebe bird. (bob Danley Photo)