Saturday, September 29, 2007

Avian Successes

Two Wisconsin Crows, who have been nosily up to something, suddenly light on branches and stare fixedly in the same direction. Though the population was not nearly as devastated as that on the east coast from West Nile Virus, this season they've rebounded with a vengeance. I'm out looking for the Thresher Park Red-tail and so far without success.

A flock of migrating Cedar Waxwings gobble choke cherries high in the newly bare branches of the three. Still no Red-tail.

When I first saw her, this Mourning dove was settled down and looked ready to roost with her head under a twig as Pale Male roosts with a branch above his head. She's afraid she might see a Red-tail perhaps?

Then to keep a better eye on me she turned round and began impersonating a branch. She truly did blend in. I went round to the edge of the wheat field where the resident Red-tail often hunts. No hawk. Wait, there she comes with a little bird hot on her tail chasing her into the woods. I wait. She doesn't come out.

And wonder of wonders, I actually was able to get the camera on a real live Bluebird. Not for long of course, not even to really focus, as two of them were having it out chasing each other through the branches. Now there's a success story for you. I went decades before seeing my first one and more years then I care to count before I saw another. But the population has rebounded , and this summer I've seen at least a half dozen.
I'm about to give up on the wheat field and forest edge, hunting area of the Red-tail, who before today I'd begun thinking of as a ghost or a figment of people's imagination, and walk up the hill towards the truck. Who should suddenly fly out the other side of the woods, but, you guessed it--the ghost Red-tail. She lands on a branch in a tree not at all far away. I stare, feeling the minute my eyes are off her for a second she'll be gone. I raise the camera and don't see her in the view finder. She's is gone and I didn't even see her go. Ghost hunting will have to wait for another day.
Sometimes I get the sneaky feeling that she's intentionally baiting me and doing the Red-tail equivalent of laughing up her sleeve--ah, wing.
Courtesy of the Associated Press
But the big success story of the day comes in a link from Karen Anne Kolling--the Rainbow Rimitara Lorikeet. (And what are the colors in a Rainbow?--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Donegal Browne

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