Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bountiful Tuesday

Guess who? That's right it is Doorstep and Friend's fledgling. I glanced up into the trees today and there was Doorstep and Friend sitting less than an inch from each other, both staring fixedly into the garden. I looked at the garden and there was their fledge snuggled into the garden dirt, which matched her feathers rather well, basking in the sun as if she were a little bit of dirt herself. And there she stayed dozing for some hours.

At 6:30 PM I almost had a heart attack when the resident Cooper's Hawks zipped through the yard carrying something brownish grey in his talons with smaller birds in pursuit. I followed the free-for-all for a quarter mile without another glimpse of the Cooper's prey. Then I lost sight of her altogether. When I arrived back at the yard, thankfully there were Doorstep and Friend with Little Bit on the roof of the house. They took to the air and while Doorstep chased Little Bit to the Spruce across the street, where I assume she roosted, Friend did a major aerial display of banks and turns gleaming in the red glow of the sinking sun.

(Yes, I know the Cooper's family has to eat too. And 6:30PM is about the time Dad should be bringing in the dinner for the evening feeding. But I admit it. Selfish of me, I know. But I much prefer that a hawk's dinner be someone that I don't know personally. It's ever so much easier to know which side to be on.)

From CP photographer Eleanor Tauber:The joyous Red-wing in Central Park. Well he ought to be joyous, he's one of the number of Red-wings who has learned that some visitors to their territory arrive with handfuls of peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Mom Robin tends the the first hatchlings of the second nest.

While Dad, remember Stealth Robin who hid in the grass to attack rivals instead of flying down at them from above, shepards the last unemancipated fledgling from the first brood of the season around the yard.

This pair nests in a large Maple. A Maple that is used by every squirrel in the neighborhood as the nearest tree to the bird feeder in the back yard. They walk the branches from tree to tree, then down the maple's trunk, and make a run across open ground for the feeder. (Hawks aren't good at getting squirrels while they're in trees, but they're right handy to grab on the ground. ) Well, this Robin couple attacks any squirrel that attempts to lay a furry foot on their tree. They dive from above and actually make contact with the squirrels heads. Needless to say, after the first or second try the squirrels often decide to traverse the roof of the house instead of the Robin's tree.

Also from Eleanor Tauber, a male House Sparrow collects feathers for his nest in Central Park.

Hermione the baby Raccoon. Three to four weeks old and teething. I took care of her yesterday while her rehabber had other business. She eats kitten replacement milk out of a baby bottle and makes the most amazing variety of chitters and purrs. She was "found" by a family who, when the DNR told them to put her back where they found her, tried to stuff her into the cavity of a tree in the middle of Milton...not where they found her at all. She's unable to walk let alone feed herself. Some people...

But there is a happy ending. There she is now, warm, full, and sleeping.
You gotta love that little palm, covered with the softest leathery skin, and tipped with the tiniest sharpest set of black claws you've ever seen.

Donegal Browne

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