March Nature Happenings in Alberta

  • Project FeederWatch continues, www.feederwatch.org
  • Sandhill Cranes can be seen returning from the south.
  • Check bird houses for damage and clean them before spring birds arrive.
  • Male flickers can be heard as they drum trying to attract a mate.
  • Bears emerge from hibernation this month.
  • Red-tailed Hawks pair up for breeding.
  • March is our highest precipitation month of the year.
  • Peak of Bald Eagle migration.
  • Great Horned Owls are sitting on their eggs.
  • Red-winged Blackbirds, Killdeer and Great Blue Herons return.
  • Black-capped Chickadees begin to excavate nest cavities in standing dead wood of aspen and mixed-wood forests. Put some wood shavings in the bottom of your chickadee nesting box. It encourages them to nest there.
  • Most ungulates begin the third trimester of pregnancy. From now until "green-up" is the maximum drain on pregnant females.
  • Female wolverines dig high elevation snow dens to bear their 2 or 3 cubs.
  • Sunday, March 8, 2020 - Daylight Savings Time begins.
  • The first prairie crocus may bloom in southern Alberta, especially if the winter has been mild.
  • Geese, swans, and ducks return and gather where there is open water.
  • By late March, ruffed grouse begin to drum in the aspen parkland of Alberta. Male grouse produce the drumming sound by beating their wings rapidly while gripping a specially selected drumming log.
  • Song Sparrows start to arrive.
  • Snow Buntings linger in the prairies and parkland.
  • Richardson's Ground Squirrels start to appear on warm days.
  • Snake hibernacula in central Alberta show signs of emerging red-sided and plains garter snakes.
  • Large numbers of arctic-nesting Rough-legged Hawks are moving north out of Alberta.
  • Horned Larks and Tree Sparrows drift north if the weather is good.
  • Although possessed of a ferocious reputation, the wolverine weighs only around 16 kg.
  • Boreal Owls are calling in the deciduous forests up Maligne Lake Road.
  • Northern pike start to spawn even before the ice recedes.
  • Canada Geese move up through the province often standing on frozen sloughs waiting for the spring thaw.
  • Receding snows reveal the mounds and trail casts created by northern pocket gophers during the winter.
  • Mountain bluebirds offer a flash of colour as they move north.
  • Magpies begin carrying sticks for nests.
  • March 19, 2020 - Spring Equinox.
  • Watch for aurorae in the night sky. Energetic particles from the Sun spiral down the Earth's magnetic field colliding with molecules in the atmosphere which emit the auroral light that we see.
  • The Full Moon is on March 9, 2020.