Sunday, February 07, 2016

Where IS That Hawk? Squirrel and Quicksilver Evade the Issue.

Squirrel the Cat has just joined Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot on the cupboard in the laundry room.  An area often used to watch the wild birds at the feeders on this side of the house.

But there aren't any wild birds at the feeders.
 Nor are there any birds even in the sheltered area on the other side of the house.

Once again there is a hawk somewhere outside that I'm not yet able to spot.
 Squirrel looks at Silver and Silver looks at Squirrel.  Silver's feathers have slightly risen which makes him look larger and warns Squirrel that he is ready to rumble if things come to that.
Squirrel looks back at me.  
Ah.  I'm still watching.
 Squirrel turns back to the window.   Silver watches me and watches him.
 Silver overtly keeps watching the cat.  And the cat fixedly looks out at the feeders in which there are no birds feeding.
 Silver decides things are safe enough to look out the window himself though he hasn't completed relaxed.  Note the raised feathers on the back of his head and the nape of his neck.
 Squirrel turns.  Likely to check if I'm still watching.
Silver still very aware of us both does begin to look outside.


As Squirrel quite subtly starts to turn toward Silver, Silver focuses directly at the cat.  He's seen something I haven't, perhaps?
  They may be looking for birds, there aren't any in sight, and they don't appear to see the hawk outside either but they are definitely also keenly aware of each other...and me. 
 Tussling is strictly forbidden.


Squirrel's head continues towards Silver and Silver goes into threat posture.  His feathers begin to stand on end all over his body.
 In a split second, the cat turns towards the bird with his right paw raised and the parrot's feathers smooth and he turns to meet the cat head on. 
I yell.
 Squirrel retreats and Quicksilver who appears to have been ready to fling himself at the cat puts his foot down.

The cat exits.  Silver turns and looks out the window again and I am no closer to finding out where the hawk is. 

I assume these guys know but they aren't telling.

Happy Hawking
Donegal Browne 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Another Season for Pale Male and Octavia!

The word on the street in New York City is that  prime hawk watching season has begun.  

According to birdwatcher Amy Shultz, she spied Pale Male and Octavia copulating on a Fifth Avenue building during her lunch hour today.

Time to dig out your seasonal paraphernalia and head for the Hawk Bench.

And as per usual, it can take many eyes to keep up with these two so anyone with a sighting feel free to share it with the rest of us....
 palemaleirregulars at yahoo.com

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne


 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

GEESE, CARDINALS, SCREAMING SQUIRRELS, AND A PHANTOM HAWK

Saturday, near dusk I heard honking, looked up and saw that the remaining Canada Geese were heading out of Dodge with a vengeance.

They had been lingering due to the comparatively mild January but when the above happens I know that the weather, in a day or two or three, is going to get nasty. 

Then yesterday I began to hear squirrel scolding no matter where I was in  the house.  I looked out at the feeders, ordinarily very busy in winter at this time of day.  Nothing.


And the squirrels kept at it.  In fact two were in the oak above the feeding ground sandwiched between the dog run and the twiggy lilac keening their little guts out.


Plus three male cardinals, standing still as plastic ornaments in the cover of  the lilac twigs, were looking in that direction as well.

Then I looked out the other side of the house.  No birds at the feeders there but no hawk peering into the birdie pile either.

Hmmm.

Then to the bay window, no birds their either but there was another squirrel up in the maple screeching.

I pulled on my boots, grabbed my camera, and headed for the door.
 I startle the squirrel out of his keening crouch coming out the door and he almost flees but when I turn away he resumes his position looking at what appears to be either something on the roof or something beyond the roof.
And the cardinals are still there.   Ordinarily my presence back here would have flushed them.  
 No birds at the feeder outside the bay window either but I'm hearing at least one squirrel scolding from that direction.

I head round the house checking the roof as I go.  Nothing.  And I head towards the East side of the house.
No birds at the feeders here either and none in the birdie pile.  NOBODY on the roof visible from this side either.  There is squirrel scolding  coming from somewhere over here as well.
THERE he is!  See him?   He's scolding from the broken branch center on the lowest level of the live branches on the Ponderosa Pine.  And he's looking at the roof as well!

I pass around toward the south end of the house, scrutinizing the roof.   What can they see that I can't?  

They do have a higher vantage point.
NOTHING!

A little aside here.  See the dark circular patch in the snow, left?  Not terribly obvious but there is a feeder pole and feeder in the middle of it. 

 Next walk up the steps and look right.  See the window overlooking the stoop?  I had several bird strikes on that window from birds fleeing the feeder area.  

Well I have curtains there that are never opened and I'd put decals on the window as well but I still had a couple of bird strikes. (Everyone was fine but still not a good thing.) Then I scavenged  that piece of lattice, nailed it between the porch pillars, slapped on some old paint and... Ta da!  No more bird strikes.

Back to our story....no hawk in sight on the roof here either!
And nothing with talons in the trees.

The Cardinals are still there....but now looking West, away from the house. 

 Ahhhh.

Did the hawk come off the roof and head west as I rounded the house from the East?
 

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

P.S.  Thank you, Sally.