Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pale Male, Ginger, No Isolde, and a Sunday Miscellany

Pale Male

Ginger out for a fly, over the Model Boat Pond.

W.A. Walters, who ordinarily is out gleaner of the NY Times, was attending a concert at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, this afternoon. I asked if he'd go round the corner and check if there was any action at Isolde and Norman's nest behind St. Andrew's elbow. He went. He stood. He watched.

But as is typical of this very deep nest when Isolde has eggs, he didn't see a thing. Oh, no doubt, Isolde is in there, but she can peer through the twigs from her darkened alcove, check out the situation outside, without a watcher ever seeing a thing. Which was no doubt the case today.

The moss has gone green on the north side of the oak trees but that didn't preclude a cold rain and even snow falling today.

Mr. Junco eyes a cracker, considering it.

The Mrs. on the other hand, has turned her back pointedly and doesn't give the cracker the time of day.

Three mammals-Pyewacket behind the glass, the resident Chipmunk and one of the many resident gray squirrels. All with their own shapes, sizes and adaptations. I'd set the camera down to pick up after Quicksilver and when I looked out again it was just in time to see a Chipping Sparrow hop up the step and make a jump at Pye, who startled and then jerked back at the Chippy.

Notice Pye is much further from the window and her neck is scrunched into her shoulders. Giving the interlude some thought I think.

And the Chipping Sparrow has come to rest between the two packs of crackers and appears to be thinking about something as well. Or perhaps just waiting for his heart to slow down a bit.

Upon thought, I think that the Chippy didn't see the cat but rather his reflection and gave an instinctive offensive move toward the "other male" in the glass. Startling Pye. Then the very large cat jerked, bird saw her and nearly gave himself a bit of a birdy heart attack.

Now why you might ask are there packs of crackers lying out there in their packaging. Well, I wondered if the neighborhood squirrels had mastered the art of cracker pack opening. I'd also put two of those individually cellophane wrapped crackers one gets in restaurants out as well.

A squirrel did nab one of the cellophane packs immediately, tried to bite the cracker, no good, cellophane in the way, spun the pack round and round while biting at it, saw me and ran off with it. No conclusive observation.

Exactly who got the third stack of crackers similar to the remaining two and opened it, I don't know. But as the squirrels have been ignoring them, I think that perhaps the Crows saw them this morning and managed to open one stack, clever corvids that they are, and carry most of them away. The waxed paper is also missing so perhaps the Crows carried a number of crackers away still in the packaging. But it also could have been a raccoon, but I haven't seen any tracks and the ground is mushy.

It's baby season at the Horvaths, the wonder rehabbers and they've always got quite the crowd at this time of year! Here are two young Great Horned Owls under their care..

A vixen and her kits take their ease..

And a crooked owl works to become straight.

Next an email from longtime reader and contributor Mai,

Donna, have you seen the Iowa eagle cam? W/ sound -- 2 parents raising 3 eyasses -- altho the mother seems to do 90% of the work, except the dad brings the food & sometimes does feeding duty -- but Mom seems to have primary responsibility for on-nest care -- absolutely amazing, & addictive.

But also disturbing -- the mother doesn't feed the babies equally -- the littlest one (#3) sometimes (as just now) doesn't get any food. The dad seems to do a better job at distributing food equally among the young ones.

Just google "Iowa eagle cam," it's the only one (Decorah, Ia.) -- Mai

Hi Mai,
This cam is well done, isn't it? But when I'm feeling a bit fragile already I don't watch eagle cams until later in the season when things have, I hope, reached stasis. Though I did post the Iowa link a week or so ago for those who wanted to watch and I have watched in the past..

As to the smallest eaglet not being fed, you are seeing a symptom of the Cain and Abel Syndrome that so often takes place in Eagle nests.. An eaglet
is just being fed less food, (sometimes but rarely it will happen in RTH nests.) and if the larger eaglet or eaglets begins to bully the smaller one along with too little food, it is very likely it will die. I don't like watching it happen. Now sometimes Eagle nests can raise three eaglets just fine. It all depends on the amount of food available, the attitude of the parents about distribution, and the bullying tendencies of the bigger eaglet or eaglets.

Donegal Browne

No comments: