Early springtime temps bring early blooms

Even the wild birds at Callaway are getting spring fever, stopping during shows to call for their mate / Sarah Bleau

Callaway Gardens stopped by Dougherty County Rotary Club Thursday afternoon, bringing along some wild guests.

The early warm temperatures have their birds catching spring fever early.

"Autumn (the red-shouldered hawk) there, she was flying in shows just fine then one day springtime weather clicked, those hormones clicked in and she goes, perches in a tree and yells for her mate," says Callaway Gardens Raptor Specialist Mark Wetzel.

Director of Gardens Patricia Collins says flowers and trees are blooming two to three weeks earlier than normal, including Callaway Gardens' large azalea garden. They have a unique way of predicting when they'll bloom too.

"It's called the serviceberry. It's a little tree and it blooms early in the spring. Usually when it starts to bloom or when it's at peak, then in two weeks that's when our azaleas bloom," says Collins. "So, in two weeks, like the 22nd, that should be the best time as far as peak bloom with the azaleas and the dogwoods."

Callaway Gardens officials say the early arrival of springtime weather has people visiting their preserve and gardens earlier than before.