Friday, November 14, 2008

The Stunned Junco, the Crow, the Squirrel, and the Orange Danish.


Finally a few of the little birds showed up today. It was a dim day in the 40's but at least it only drizzled on and off. Dark-eyed Junco is making up for lost time.

My daughter Sam is here to see her Grandmother for the weekend so we're continuing the goodie stump experiments. Today's choices were Culver's french fries, a half a chicken sandwich with seeded bun, and an orange danish.




A moment before a squirrel was on the stump enjoying a crinkle cut french fry. Then squirrel left and was on his way back to the stump when this Crow flew down to the lawn. Did two circuits around the stump while keeping an eye on squirrel, as per the Crow manual abut food that looks too easy to get, then hopped up on the stump.

Then grabbed the top half of the seeded bun, where the seeds are, so fast that I missed the shot. Crow took off to the north.

A second Crow handed in the yard, the other was most likely somewhere being the sentinel, walked around the stump examining it for danger and hopped to the goodie stump. And took a pause to examine the choices. I decided I wasn't going to miss the grab on this one so didn't set the timer.

He checks the house.

Leans in for a closer look.

And grabs. Honestly that orange swoosh is the orange danish. I told you they were fast. He flies up to the nearest tree, and squirrel sees her chance and she hops on the stump and has some more french fries.

Crow begins to scream from the tree.

Squirrel keeps an eye on him but doesn't give an inch. Crow keeps screaming until suddenly he flies away. Squirrel has a few more bites and then she scamper off at high speed.

Most of the Juncos have headed for the Spruce. This male might be a sentinel. And everyone who is left in sight is looking north. I try to see what they might be looking at when poof! BANG! The few remaining birds zip off. Unfortunately one of the little Juncos flies into the house, bounces off, hits the ground, then in an attempt to fly off again, flaps her wings, which causes her to spin in circles on her back, until one wing catches under the bottom of the glider. Where she lies upside down, little feet in the air, panting. (No time to take a photo.)
I run out, pick her up, and notice hear the squirrels whining. There is definitely some predator out here. Likely something with wings from the angle of the squirrels. I go back in, look Junco over. No blood, nothing bent that shouldn't be, no puffed up places, but she doesn't look good. I grab a box, line it, and once again the second bathroom is put into service. She's plopped over on her side again, so I try to prop her upright in the lining.
Her eyes are down to slits, and she's quite limp. I make sure the heating register is open, take one photo, put the flaps down on the box, turn off the light, and resist the big impulse to check on her in another two minutes.. She needs warmth, and rest as she looks pretty shocky. I'm not optimistic.
I return to the bathroom in two hours, dreading that I might find a very dead bird.


But look who has gotten out of her box and is standing on top of it.

She flies to the towel rack and perches. Good thing I put it back together after Pyewackit the formally stray cat disassembled it.

I leave to get food and water for her and when I return with it, she's not on the rack, or anywhere else I can see. Back in the box? No.
Ah ha, there she is reflected in the mirror, hiding behind her box. I put the seed and water on the floor, Junco being a ground feeder and leave. If it had still been light outside I would have released her immediately, but it's dark, so tomorrow morning will do just fine.
d.b.

2 comments:

Karen Anne said...

Yeah, junco.

I still have not totally solved the window problem, despite shades, moving the feeders, decals, etc. normally working. Every so often there is an unusual panic that causes the birds to take off with not even a nanosecond to think about what direction they're going, it seems like. So far I have not found any stunned ones.

As to the orange Danish swoosh, the blue jays normally land by the peanuts-in-shells on my deck and select one or more, sometimes picking over various possibilities, but occasionally one swoops down and nabs a peanut without even pausing to land.

Sally said...

My hall bath has many times become a wildlife haven for short periods of time! My husband found a cartoon of a mother bird flying off with the comment "Gotta go-I'm being peeped!" which I put on the door so the family knows know when I've sequestered something in there and they shouldn't go in. :)

I am glad your lady junco did fine, but aren't you afraid she will fly into the mirror left unatttended? Despite my attempts to put little bird warning stickers on them I still get brids crashing into my patio doors. The other day I had a young female cardinal try repeatedly to fly into my breakfast room! She didn't crashbut rather touched the glass, hovering back and forth in front of the door and repeatedly trying to get into the room. The door has those rectangular crosshatches of wood to look like window pane and I wondered briefly if it was trying to land on them through the glass? It was very strange. I moved my small jasmine tree that comes inside for the winter away from the window after I had several sudden bird strikes near it after I moved it in; apparently the birds could see it and tried to land in it. Ususally the bird flies off kind of drunk, but I have had to bring several in and let them rest in a box as you did, a little Carolina chickadee (my GOD they are SO tiny in your hand!) and a Goldfinch most recently. I wish there was some way to make glass less dangerous. I love watching the birds!