Saturday, July 19, 2008


Tomorrow and the next day, I'll be traveling. So posting may be dicey, depending.
The sunflower that planted itself is coming along and soon the local male Goldfinch will be hanging by his very interesting feet to pluck the seeds. I discovered last year that Goldfinch, having no pockets just keeps poking them whole down their throats in order to carry them. Why he carries them at times as opposed to just eating them on the spot, I'm not sure. Though there are obvious possibilities. Treats for his mate? Goodies for the kids? Stashing? One of these days he won't elude me and I'll find out.

Ah, here we have very hardworking Mr. House Finch. He's currently been able to elude his fledgling children so he can actually eat some food himself. Note his grooming isn't terribly stellar, poor dear. He's been quite busy being harassed today so a bath was out of the question. There are three or four chicks and they really do get pushy. They'll land on him if he isn't coming across with the chow rapidly enough. They have gotten to the stage where they could well be foraging on their own, but hey, some human kids find it hard to move out of their parent's basement too.

He's chewing fast and in actuality he has moments where he looks downright furtive. Just after this photo was taken one of his progeny discovered him, flew down, and attempted to grab the seed out of his beak. Holding tight Mr. H took off for the Spruce tree with Junior in hot pursuit.

The summer flowers have begun to come on.

And as of today my Milkweed is mature enough to attract the butterflies.

Can you guess what this is? Easy, right? It's glow worms. Another adventure, today I attempted to photograph fireflies. You have to be there long enough to get lucky while not being eaten alive by the mosquitoes you're attracting. Quite fascinating in a masochistic kind of way.

But the sunset was very good, even with the mosquitoes. I'll be waiting to hear how the hawks are doing.
See you soon...maybe even tomorrow. Because you never know what you might find while--On The Road.
Donegal Browne

Friday, July 18, 2008


Tulsa Hawk Map courtesy of Jackie Dover

I'd mentioned that over time as they had sightings of other hawks that the Tulsa Hawkwatchers might want to try mapping territories. And Wow! A day or two later suddenly a map appears with the current sightings. They're completely ahead of me. I am so impressed by the work Tulsa's new Hawk Watchers and the folks on the KJRH forum are getting done.

Here's a note from map creator, Jackie Dover--

Hello, from Oklahoma:

My KJRH Hawk Forum friends--Catbird and Catgirl (photographer Cheryl Cavert)--suggested I email you a copy of the first of a series, no doubt, of working maps of the Tulsa areas where we've had RTH's observed and reported since the establishment of Kay/Jay/Thunder's nest.

It's a work in progress, but it is something. I can send you significantly updated maps as they may develop.

I enjoy your blog, most recently the chickadee in the rhubarb, the Spokane ducks, and the continuing saga of the RTH's bouts with frounce.

I am a total layman in this hawk business. But I'm an animal lover, and I'm learning. We have a wonderful Forum group with lots of good humor, expertise and enthusiasm.


Jackie Dover (Bville on the Forum)

Bartlesville, OK

Hey Jackie, you can bet your boots we'd like to see those maps as they progress. Every time someone studies a new set of Red-tails we learn more about these wonderful birds. They're so adaptable and there is no doubt in my mind that we'll see differences here and there from the New York City hawks as we progress.

Two new sets of Hawks in as many days, here's Cheryl's photos and report below

Photograph of Perryman Ditch Hawk 2 by Cheryl Cavert
Cheryl Says---

This is the one I think is the parent, Hawk 2- or at least an adult due to the red tail when it flew off. In the picture of it yelling at me - it was not happy that I was getting so close to where hawk1 was perched.

No question Cheryl that if the bird has a red tail, is yelling at you for being near a fledgling, and is being allowed in the territory at this point in the breeding season, the bird is one of the parents. Red-tail parents are beyond picky about who gets to traverse their boundaries at this time of year. The intrusion of an non-parental adult would bring on the war cries and a major battle.

(Further explanation about the Perryman Ditch location and Cheryl's adventure finding them below.)

Photograph of Perryman Ditch hawk 1by Cheryl Cavert
(And be sure not to miss the bug eyed Blue Jay scolding the Juvenile above.)
Hello Donna,

This morning when I returned from my morning errands and hawk watching , I could hear a ruckus going on a block away from me. As I have heard and seen some red-tail hawks in my neighborhood recently, I hurried out with my camera and binoculars (and one of my escaped cats!!)

I live about 1 1/2 miles south east from Thunder's nesting site, and then another 1 1/4 miles east is the Langenheim twins. I took a few pictures of the two hawks I spotted. My guess is that one is a parent and one a juvenile. The parent resembles Jay in the pale belly - so maybe a sibling/parent/offspring - guess we'll never know. For now I have referred to them as Perryman Ditch Hawk 1 and 2 - for the area I have been seeing them in. Just thought you might like to see some hawks perched in some trees (rather than cell phone tower equipment!!!)

I like Red-tails perched where ever they decide to do it, but yes, it is nice to see them perched in trees now ans again.

I'd asked what kind of area the two new fledglings who's photographs were posted on Tuesday, the Langenheim Twins, as they are currently called, were found and Tulsa Hawkwatcher and their discoverer Rose Culbreth came through like a trouper with the information.

I am one of the Tulsa Hawk watchers, the one that first sighted the Langenheim Park Twins. You had asked some specific questions and I will try and answer a few:

The park itself is described on the City Parks webpage as below:

7.7 Acres Designated Parking with handicap spaces. Playground with 3 big toys, designed to look like a castle. Sports Field, large open field on the east end Lighted tennis courts. Picnic Tables
All of the non vegetative objects listed above are at the north and middle of the park.

The south side of the park, closest to the bank building they like to perch on, has many huge sycamore, pine, oak and sweet gum trees, none of which has a nest in it that I can find.

There are though, three rather large squirrel nests in those trees. The park has many squirrels, rabbits and smaller bird species and although I have not seen any, I am sure mice, voles, and other rodents. The first sighting of an adult was this afternoon just a half block west.

(It sounds like a very nice, varied, and high prey base. D.B.)
Do the Hawks build stick nests when they build in trees or is that just on man made structures?
Rose Culbreth

Hi Rose,
Excellent answer to my questions about the green area the birds are using for their fledglings. Red-tails are particularly partial to having an open area bounded by some tall trees. It's perfect for hunting.

Yes, Red-tails use sticks and twigs to build their tree nests as well. In fact they often have to bring far more of them the first year in order for the nest to work out for them in a tree. And experienced pair will pick a nice crouch in a tree they like.

I've not had as much experience with tree nests as ones on buildings but John Blakeman, the Ohio Red-tail expert tells me that sometimes they will start by sort of dropping sticks into the crouch until some catch then they begin weaving a rather messy bowl. This part I've seen. They push twigs down from top to bottom and through the sides until the "feel" is right. Though they will continue to add sticks all the way through the nesting season but usually not as many as in the initial stages. If they choose the site again next season they'll add a whole new layer and the nests tend to grow and grow.

California Condor courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



I still have not been able to find news on the survival of the condor chicks, but I did find this new website asking for the public to report condor sightings. It's a positive move, as the birds are expanding their movements. I have been fortunate enough to have seen them twice at Pinnacles National Monument, one of the release and reintroduction sites. The closest was when my husband and I were hiking on one of the high trails and two flew by at eye level. We heard their soft wing beats and our hearts just melted! Another time, they roosted in a big white pine tree high on a hill above our campsite.They took forever to choose which branch to sleep on so lots of flying in and out of the tree. The next morning, several were still in the tree, so we got to watch them begin their day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Photos courtesy of the employees of Sterling Bank, Spokane


Dear Nature Lovers
Something really amazing happened in Downtown Spokane this week and I had to share the story with you.

Some of you may know that my brother, Joel, is a loan officer at Sterling Bank. He works downtown in a second story office building, overlooking busy Riverside Avenue. Several weeks ago he watched a mother duck choose the cement awning outside his window as the uncanny place to build a nest above the sidewalk.

The mallard laid nine eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks and Monday afternoon all of her nine ducklings hatched.

Joel worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching.

Tuesday morning, Joel came to work and watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off!

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. To his disbelief Joel watched as the first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below.

My brother couldn't watch how this might play out. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was in a stupor near its mother from the near fatal fall.
Joel looked up. The second duckling was getting ready to jump! He quickly dodged under the awning while the mother duck quacked at him and the babies above. As the second one took the plunge, Joel jumped forward and caught it before it hit the cement. Safe and sound, he set it by the momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from its painful leap.
One by one the babies continued to jump to join their family below. Each time Joel hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its fall. The downtown sidewalk came to a standstill. Time after time, Joel was able to catch the remaining 7 and set them by their mother.
At this point Joel realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the Spokane River. The onlooking office secretaries then joined in and hurriedly brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies.
They carefully corralled them, and loaded them up into the white cardboard container. Joel held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the Spokane River, as the mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into the river, and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, the Sterling Bank office staff then tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after their ride.
All nine darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma duck. Joel said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank workers.
Thankfully, the secretaries had a digital camera and were able to capture most of it (except the actual mid-air catching) in a series of photographs.
Brother Joel, the Downtown Duck Hero!
Did you notice that though they counted nine eggs, that in the group photos, if you count carefully, there are 10 ducklings? So either they made a mistake in their egg count, or, two of those little ducklings are twins.
Donegal Browne

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Today's Fledgling photos courtesy of Cheryl Cavert

WHO KNEW! It turns out that 2 miles from the KJRH tower another pair of Tulsa fledglings were discovered. Is it a Tulsa Red-tail population explosion?

But before we get to them--

I'd emailed Cathy Horvath telling her that a number of you were contacting me about where donations could be sent to help care for Hous and Hank, the Houston Fledglings, the Kestrel with frounce who has the displaced beak, his brother, the at least three dozen Kestrels already released this season, the fledge with lead poisoning from the Cathedral nest, plus all the other birds under the Horvaths care now and in the future. And those they have cared for so diligently that did not stay with us, particularly the Dad of the Houston Nest, who was lost so recently.

In the meantime, reader Pam Greenwood had ferreted an address off the Internet that she sent to me and asked if it was the "one".

And here is what Cathy said in return about the address and our wanting to help.







Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation,
202 No. Wyoming Avenue,
North Massapequa, NY 11758

There you go folks! Get crackin'.

Excitement is growing by leaps and bounds in Tulsa's Red-tail watching community. Here's a note from Cheryl Cavert--

Hi Donna,
One of the KJRH forum members had mentioned last week that she had seen a hawk near where she lives, and of course was wondering if it could be Thunder.

It is about a mile from my house, and 1 1/3 miles south and 2 miles east of the KJRH Tower. So as I drove by today on an errand I stopped at the park where she said she had seen the hawk. I could not see one at first but thought I heard one.

Finally I spotted on top of the tallest building in the area (maybe 10 stories?) a hawk like profile.

I drove to the area and finally spotted it and took a few (!!!!) photos of it, a juvenile. She was mainly scanning and calling out. I finally loaded up to leave and just as I started to drive off, another hawk came flying in.

I got back out and took a few more pictures - it looks like a juvenile too (but did not drive/walk back around to other better advantage points as I was running out of time).

So here are my photo efforts for today, as the two times I was in the KJRH hawk area, I did not find any signs of them.

I have encouraged the woman who told me about them to name them!!!
Cheryl Cavert

Absolutely Cheryl, names are important and we know why!

I can see why the other youngster is vocalizing. My guess is, she's begging vigorously. Check out the crop in the photo just above of the darker fledge with the more definite, vertically streaked belly band. This fledgling has eaten recently. See her crop. Now look at the lighter fledge up one photo. Her crop is flat and she's letting her parents know that she'd take dinner now, thank you.

Whereas Full Crop is just looking around watching the world go by. Not that she might not try for a bite of her siblings dinner if the opportunity showed itself.

Now that a second nest in Tulsa has been confirmed, the question becomes, just how many more are there?

Plus all the other questions I have==

How large is the park?
What kind of vegetation or sports areas are within it?
Do these hawks eat the same prey as the KJRH hawks in the same proportion?
Tree nest or building?
Where are the parent's favorite perches as at least one is no doubt watching over the fledges?

And another big question to go with the "just how many other hawk pairs are in Tulsa", is, what are the boundaries of their territories?

If someone wants to take it on, he or she could keep track of everyone's confirmed sightings of each individually IDed hawk during breeding season when the lines of demarcation between territories are quite firm. Eventually the boundary lines will emerge.

Once again Red-tails surprise us and isn't it exciting that Tulsa may have a whole community of Red-tails nesting in town waiting to be watched.

Donegal Browne

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Red-tailed Hawks-Thunder's Family, More on Houston Boys at Rehab, and Pale Male Gets a Mention in the Wicked Local Medford Transcript

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert

That certainly isn't one of the goofy faces that we used to see on Thunder's face. She's getting to be quite the grown hawk these days. Though as Tulsa Hawkwatcher Cheryl Cavert reports, it didn't stop her from calling out repeatedly and with vocal vigor to her parents who were two blocks away perched in plain site up on the tower. Besides they had their backs turned.

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert
Just look at that beautiful eye.

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert
That is Dad, Jay, on the left. He really has no belly band at all. There is a bit of color coming out from under his wings on the sides but at least at this distance that's it.

Note the reverse sexual dimorphism, Kay on the right is beefier and longer. Also look at the difference in the shape of their heads. If you keep looking at various hawks for which you know the sex, eventually skull shape will give you a pretty good hunch as to the sex of hawks who's gender you don't know.

And on the right, finally, Kay has reappeared. This is the sighting that was so exciting as no one had seen Kay for nearly two weeks. Once everyone talked to one another and realized no one had seen her, thoughts of what has happened in NYC this year began to creep into their minds. Disappearing never to be seen again Red-tails, adults dying, frounce, lead poisoning, traffic, just plain mystery deaths. It isn't easy being an urban hawkwatcher, for so many reasons and the amount of anxiety involved at certain points isn't the least of it.

Photograph by Cheryl Cavert
Here's Kay, with a better look at her belly band. Her's is very interesting as what she has is dark but it's more belly band polka dots than a belly band consisting of varying vertical streaks of changeable widths consisting of darker pigmented feathers. Given good binoculars and a reasonable view from the front these two shouldn't be too hard to tell apart. (Famous last words...) There have been days when 12 people on the Hawk Bench couldn't come close to agreeing if it was Pale Male or Lola on the nest and the two of them don't really look much alike at all.

Now here is the question, did Kay really go off on vacation? That hardly seems likely with Thunder the age she is. Was Kay feeling under the weather, just going slightly further afield to hunt, or did she just turn super stealthy there for awhile?

I'm betting she isn't going to tell us.

Photograph by Eleanor Tauber

CP wildlife photographer Eleanor Tauber has done it again. Peace. A Cormorant stands reflected in the Upper Lake.

Adam told me that Hank, (the moniker Cathy Horvath gave to H2), seems completely clear of lesions and is getting better by the minute.
As to our long battling-filled-with grit Houston, or Hous for short, he is alert and the golf ball sized lesion in his mouth and throat is almost gone.
He is still very thin but that's completely understandable after what he's been through. And we all know that Cathy will give him as much to eat as he wants and more.
Hous does have some damage to his upper palate, Remember the yellow caseous lesions are called necrotic foci? Necrotic means dead or dying. Some tissues mend themselves very nicely, the dead portions just slough off with nice healthy tissue growing underneath but sometimes areas are so disrupted or of the kind of tissue that doesn't just heal in the way that soft tissue can, that real damage can occur. If Hous's palate is damaged beyond his body's ability to self-repair, he will most likely have a little surgical mending penciled into his busy social calender once he's stronger. We do want him in good as new shape after all. He'll be much better able to go looking for trouble once he's back on the streets.
Medford Transcript - Medford, MA, USA
As more wild animals are adapting to urban environments, a pair of red-tailed hawks have taken up residence on a Medford rooftop. Nicknamed Rocco and Jolene by the locals who follow their progress, the pair has just finished raising two healthy chicks.

“This has been such a great nest to watch,” said resident John Harrison, a book distributor and wildlife enthusiast. “It can be tough in the woods with all the foliage.”
Harrison pointed out a nest of twigs, which sits beneath an overhanging ventilation duct atop the Workout World at 200 Boston Ave. He has been following Rocco and Jolene since 2001. A nearby set of train tracks, he said, has posed some great difficulties.
Donegal Browne


Monday, July 14, 2008


Astoria Park's Atlas, relaxes while doing sentinel duty.

I received an update about the Tulsa hawks which reported that no one seemed to have seen Kay for possibly a couple of weeks. This concerned the reporter, me, and any number of readers so Tulsa Hawkwatcher Cheryl Cavert headed out to try and track Kay down.


Great news Donna -

I spotted Kay this evening. She is back!!!!!! I had checked back over the posts and the last possible spotting had been around July 1st. In fact I saw all 3 of them this evening, at the same time - and it was a thrill. I do not know yet if I got any decent pictures.I just had to share the good news!-Cheryl

Excellent!!! Whew, we've lost enough hawks for one season. (Knock wood.)


After the publishing of the frounce photos. we all saw what a dreadful disease it was, and how painful it must be. Readers asked whether these hawks could have or were getting pain medications. I shot off an email to wildlife rehabilitator Cathy Horvath and she shot one right back.

hey donna ,

pain management is huge for me. i feel that the pain over rides the will to live when they are so very sick. they might not show pain on the outside because then they are vulnerable to become prey, but eating just becomes such a chore and sucks the rest of the life out of them.

they can just linger on for quite some time without eating . it is just too sad. the most important thing to do when i get a patient in is to make sure they are warm. even the older animals , not just babies. they cannot digest their food if they are cold. then comes the pain meds. i use a liquid called metacam . everyone gets pain meds. my method has worked pretty well for me so i won't be changing anything.

i can't say how happy i am that everyone is doing so well. i feel pretty proud right now.

one last note ... i named the youngest houston baby dante . in latin it means everlasting . that is where he will be in my heart. i am so heart broken that i was unable to save him . thanks again to all , i hope to only have good news to tell from now on !!! sorry about all the lower case letters...sadie is sitting on my lap and i can't really shift with one hand . talk to you soon...cathy Horvath

And many thanks to caring Cathy Horvath. Great intuition on her part and analysis of why pain medication is so extremely important in recovery for Man or Beast.

One of my favorite things in Wisconsin is the propensity of Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica. (By the way they are our only swallow that has a swallow tail.) They're beautiful, eat insects, and are downright cheeky. I like their nests too. And this year with all the rain they've been able to get just the right consistency of mud for lovely nests.

Here is the nest itself. Perched under the aluminum roof of a sideless pavilion. It's a touch dim up there and these guys are fast so not the easiest of subjects.

I think this might be Dad. Hard to tell as both male and female are colored similarly. But whoever it is, the bird is far beyond the next largest Barn Swallow I've seen. He's huge compared to the species norm.

See what I mean? Both parents swoop in every minute or so with another catch of insects. The chicks are young and so not much is ever visible of them beyond a beak and partial head as yet.

The other bird leaves and this bird flies in. Even though the light isn't optimum for it, you're still able to see some of the iridescence of the feathers of this species.

The moment a parent lands on the edge of the nest little tips of beaks appear and gape. Then begins some of the fastest rapid fire feeding in birdland. And look at how far her head goes down the chick's throat.

Then Mom gives me a don't-even-try-it look and takes off for another beakful of mosquitoes, flies, and other tasty human annoyances.
Oh, a bit of Wisconsin folk wisdom which everyone believes to be quite true. Lightning will never strike where Barn Swallows nest.
Do they know something we don't? If they can figure it out, lack of being struck by lightening seems an excellent criteria for the nest placement list.

There is more than enough of rain this season and so the wildflowers are lush this year. Here are what is called in Wisconsin, Brown-eyed Susans.

The wild Black Raspberries are coming on. I picked a gallon bucket full today. But as there is no free lunch, I also have two little bites on my right middle finger which seem particularly poisonous as my finger has swollen up so much I can't bend it and it rather throbs. It wasn't a hornet as I didn't feel a sting, perhaps a spider?

Many of the small roadside slopes which are difficult to mow are covered with the Susan's and Tiger and Day lilies.

There was a gorgeous sunset this evening, but when it was happening I wasn't able to pull off the road for a photograph. So in a fit of whimsy, I took the picture while rolling.
Just think Impressionism.
Donegal Browne
P.S. My apologies, I am once again far behind in the email. I will catch up eventually, promise!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cathy's Rehab Update and the Chickadee Chick with Purpose

A young Hous back when he was newly arrived for fostor care in Astoria Park before the manifestaton of his case of frounce.

After hearing that Hous was holding his own, I wrote Cathy and Sadie a note thanking them for taking such good care of him and all the others that they care for as well!

I couldn't believe that not only was Hous alive, but he seemed to be managing to stay at least even. Whatever Cathy was putting in that smoothie was working. He looked so terribly ill the day he went into rehab, I thought he was a goner and I felt terrible about it. Holding your own with frounce is no easy feat, as we've seen this season.

Also when photographer and Hous hunter, Francois Portmann had sent me photos from the day Hous was rescued from the pool drain, there had been photos of an Urban Ranger with a nest and some naked nestlings. Then a photo of Cathy putting them into a teeny little carrier. With everything going on with Hous I'd forgotten to ask about the little guys, so that was another question that I had for Cathy in my email.

And today, I was delighted to open my box and see a note from her and little Sadie. And guess what? Good news!!!

Hey Donna,

Miss Sadie and I are doing great, thanks. We are keeping busy and somewhat out of trouble trying to cure our frounce patients. Everyone seems to be doing well.

Hous ate his first mouse all by himself two days ago. I can't even express in words how happy I was. I am so proud of him. He has had such a rough start in his young life, so many obstacles and he just keeps plugging away! He is stronger and his mouth is improving every day. I really didn’t think he would be alive when we got home, but he is no quitter! He is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at at night.

Hous 2, who we have named Hank, is almost cured. He barely has any signs of the canker at all. I am still treating him and he eats like a little piggy. Good thing I don’t have to fly around looking for his meals, my wings would fall off!! I feed him as much as he wants and when he hears me coming he does his little baby peeping.

As for the little naked babies from the park, they are growing like little wildflowers. They are sparrows. I have six of them, two from the park, one from our local pool, and three more from a fallen nest somewhere.

The new kestrels we have are also showing improvement. The little one with the canker on the outside is eating on his own now. The canker looks like it is starting to dry up, which is a very good sign. Time will tell. I hope that we will be releasing all my little babies really soon, and in one release my big boy Hous!!!

I thank everyone for all their well wishes and positive thoughts. Without every ones time and concern about Hous, he might have passed away alone, I couldn't have been able to deal with that very well. So thank you all again!

Hope all is well, Sadie and I are busy rescuing what ever we get a call for. She is a busy little rehabber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Talk to you...
Cathy and Sadie


Originally all I wanted to do was to take a picture of whoever was making all the racket. I was weeding the very muddy garden and I kept hearing what sounded like a variation on the standard Chickadee call from somewhere near the ground. I kept looking and looking and finally in the rubarb I found this little guy.

Yes, he has his eyes closed but he was still calling both when they were open or closed. So I ran and got the tripod and managed one photo before he decided to hop off the rubarb, take a tumble and keep going. A kind of energizer chickadee. This chick must have been fresh off the nest because we're talking not capable of flight at all.

Now you may have noticed that Chickadees hop, they don't walk. Quite a common phenomena in the teeny birds. But this little guy was trying to hop through grass that was taller than he was. So each hop he'd flap his stubby little wings to try to get a little height in order to clear the next few grass blades. He was working his stubby tail off.

I was attempting to take his picture and I couldn't keep him in focus with all the hopping, disappearing into the grass, and then repeat. I needed the other camera that wasn't on the tripod. By the time I got back he was heading for the slope in the back that runs towards the walking path that
circles the park. Which was fine, except that when I looked there were two humongous sheepdogs with their master coming his way. Yes, the sheepdogs were on leads but I thought well, I'll just slow the chick down a little and they'll pass. So I got in front of him and stood a few feet away and waited. It works fine for fledgling hawks usually.

Well instead of turning aside, he just kept doing his tiny hop flaps until he just hop flapped onto my foot. He took stock for a moment and then hopped off.

Very strange. I just had Poecile atricapilla hanging out on my foot.

While I was momentarily distracted, off he went. And off he went in a direction which was bound to intersect him with the dogs.

I put my foot in front of him again just to see if last time was an aberration. Nope. He likes standing on feet. Then once again, hoppity hop off my foot and towards the dogs.

So I put my hand down and he hopped onto it.

He may have hopped on but he was still a bird with a mission and so kept on a coming up my arm. The dogs had stopped to snuff the area.
Okay, let's go back to the rhubarb where you were before, shall we? Besides I could hear an adult Chickadee calling from the tree over the rubarb. But very similar to a little wind up toy chickadee he would not be thwarted. Very strong minded these Chickadees.
Hop flap, hop flap, hop flap.
He stops in the clover patch and hides behind a blossom to scope out what? The upcoming open area? For what I don't know as I didn't scare him and apparently neither had the dogs arrival.

Then after a pause, hoppity hop, hoppity hop towards the paved path. He crosses, vocalizing very loudly. The chickadee adult who was in the tree over the rubarb takes off and lands in a little spruce a few feet to the far side of chicklette here. Chicklette disappears under the evergreen, good place for him. The adult heads for the sunflower seed feeder and then returns to the spruce.
Looks like the adults are going to have to follow Chicklette for a day or two until he gets it as he doesn't seem big on following them yet. Just screaming his little head off and hoppity hopping around like a mad thing.
Actually two seasons ago there was a fledgling Robin just off the nest like this. Instead of following the Dad around while he hunted like he should, he'd take off any old direction and the Dad would turn around, look vigorously, spot him and then go to him to stuff the worm into his gape. After a day or two the young Robin figured it out. I'm supposing that Chicklette here will do the same.
Donegal Browne