Monday, September 14, 2009

A Fifty Bluebird Flock

Hope may be in sight as I have my fingers crossed I'll have a different computer by Friday.

In the meantime...there is a small wood with quite a number of oaks and some old farm machinery which tends to attract migrating birds. I went to check it out. I got out of the car and WHOOSH!

Not turkeys this time nor cranes but a flock of at least 50 Eastern Bluebirds exploded out of a farm machine parked on the edge of the wood and into every possible direction. Needless to say, as you don't see 50 Bluebirds exploding into the air, I missed the shot. But I did rediscover a few that weren't well hidden in the treetops.

To tell the truth I'd never in my life seen so many Bluebirds all at the same time. It was quite astounding. All those nesting boxes around the country must be doing some good.

A Rough-legged Hawk flies over and the Bluebirds freeze while looking up.

Chipmunk who had been shoving wheat seeds into his cheek pouches from the adjacent field, scurries over and ducks under some old planks.

Could this be a Towhee?

The Roughie has gone on so it's time to get back to the two staring males who've been staring at each other.

It took me awhile but I now see why these two are so divergent in size. The smaller bird is on the far edge of the machine, there is an expanse of space and the larger bird is on the closer edge.

Notice the grayish back on the far bird and the paler belly. It is likely an immature Eastern Bluebird.

After the explosion these two spent the entire time I was there, staring at me. The Bluebird has been fantasized into this happy creature. And they might well be happy but they are happy while being tough little predators of insects. While hunting from a fencepost they look very much like the larger avian predators, the buteos, when it comes to facial expressions.

In Arkansas this is called a Sweat Bee, in Wisconsin a Hover Fly, what do they call it where you are?
Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Sally said...

I call it - "OUCH!" Otherwise, no clue. We have a sweat bee in Illinois where I grew up but it is much smaller :)