Thursday, September 04, 2008

Furtive Birds--Wiggles in the Foliage plus Basement Boy Meets Garage Boy

Suddenly after yesterday's humidity, heat, and dry thunder, today is cool and breezy. Now flocks of birds are rushing south--Gulls, mixed flocks of Robins and Grackles, and out-of-town Crows blow through the fields and pastures.

But I'm distracted by the unwind inspired wiggling in these flowers. Whoever is doing it hasn't showed a beak yet.

Aha! First look at the left most fully opened orange marigold. It's a bit lower than it's blossom mates. Then look slightly more left to the pink blossom. Look above it and slightly more left. there is a little bird face.

A male House Sparrow appears. Now that isn't the face from above, so there are at least two birds in there. The with ripple of foliage and the stubby flapping of wings, Dad House Sparrow takes his son and daughter to the bird bath for a drink.

Son is in the middle. Beyond the beginnings of a bib, Son seems to have a slightly oranger mandible than his sister.

Who just arrived in the Sunflower patch? It's a male Goldfinch for certain but which male is't clear as he seems to be doing an impersonation of an accused criminal coming out the back door of the courthouse.

Still no joy.

Where did everyone go?


The Cooper's Hawk sails by and sparrow crouches motionless.

Mom squirrel catches some sun. Note the swollen mammary glands.

I took a quick trip out to Thresherman's Park to see if the Crows, Turkeys, or whoever might have discovered all the inches of grain on the ground from the threshing. There were two Crows eating the sorghum seed in that field, but of course the sentinel here warned them off, the moment a camera appeared. Then all three retired into the woods and out of sight. No peeking, then hiding, then suddenly appearing to scold. No, the Crows still haven't recovered enough from all the hoopla for Crow Games just yet?

Peggy M. of Brooklyn NY sent this email, titled Garage Boy, Meet Basement Boy.

(Some of you may remember that Garage Boy was the fledgling Robin who decided to spend several days in the rafters of my WI garage, while his parents brought carry out to him every few minutes.)

Last night, there was a noisy rainstorm: no thunder, but plenty of wind driven rain. Anyhow, cut to morning, when the family is sitting at the dining room table, and our cleaning lady, Katrina, tells us ' there is birt in basement". I looked at her, and she helpfully flapped her arms like wings saying 'gray birt" which I said, 'oh 'bird'; a pigeon" and she nodded in agreement.

So I go to the basement, armed with a fist full of Special K Vanilla Almonds, because we didn't have any peanuts, and I know the Pigeons love peanuts. I then spotted a young, damp male Mocking Bird on one of the cellar windows.

To make a long story short, I opened one of the windows, scattered the almonds outside, then had to find Mr. Mockingbird, and guide him from the furnace room to the front room of our basement, using a long curtain rod, to gently tap a box, and get him to fly. I never went near him.

They are smart, and Mr. M felt the fresh air, flew to the open window, hopped out, then enjoyed a small snack before flying off.

I'm sure it was from reading your blog that I knew what to do ( even without the benefit of PG Tips).

Mr. M looked rather damp, and we think he fell or was blown down our flue during the storm

Peggy M
Nothing like a little home invasion to add excitement to one's life. Speaking of homes, the Barn Swallow has proven to be extremely adaptable when it comes to homes and nest sites. Originally they put their mud nests on cliffs or the underside of branches.
When humans started supplying those handy barns and sheds full of insects they moved right in. They've also become extremely partial to the support structures under elevated decks and the struts under sideless picnic pavilions. They've now added a new wrinkle by building nests on the roof supports inside of a Midwestern Home Depot store. They don't have to worry about rain. The environment is temperature controlled, now there's a plus, but how in the world do they find enough flying insects to feed their chicks inside a store? They open the doors to go hunting outside by hovering in front of the door sensor. Other direction? More hovering-- different sensor.
You can't tell me birds are dumb.
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Would the Mom squirrel be still nursing baby squirrels at this time of year?

There's a female squirrel who visits my deck who is noticeably bigger than any of the other squirrels. She wouldn't be pregnant, now that its getting colder?

Donegal Browne said...

It does seem late doesn't it? Though I've begun to notice that, possibly due to breeding failures earlier this year (Due to weather?), that any number of creatures have "second clutched" or are a little behind the usual reproductin schedule.