Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quicksilver the African Parrot and the Shut Cabinet...Repeatedly, Grackles Walk on Pond Scum, and the Robin Nest Under the Dam

It all started when I heard the  "clack" of something falling and realized I'd no idea where Silver was.  The clack sounded like it came from the laundry room.  I looked... no parrot.  Could have sworn it was from in here.

Thunk!  Hmmm.  I opened the cupboard door...
                       Honey, how did you get in there?  
 I'm sorry Silver.  Did I shut you in the cupboard? I'm sorry, Sweetie!

I didn't remember shutting the cupboard.   Didn't remember it at all.  Besides wouldn't I have seen him if I did?

Because of his expression I did not offer my hand to help him out.  Not with that look on his face. 

As I was leaving the room I heard him fly out.  Good.
                          And when I visited again...
But later the cabinet is closed again. I did not shut the cabinet.



Tinka tinka tink!

I open the cupboard...a parrot head pops out.
He is shutting himself in the cabinet.  

Why is he doing that?

How is he doing it?  

And being a parrot he isn't about to do it while I'm looking.

May have to resort to a trail cam....

Later I go out to look at the Mill Race as I've heard they are allowing it to refill as the work on the banks has been completed.  

I walk down to the dam.

While the water was so low and slow moving, it had gotten rather stagnant and is full of algae and other gunk.

 And all of it seems to have now floated up to the dam and stopped, with the water flowing over the dam but the gunk just laying there.  

What is that bird doing out there?
The Grackle must be hunting something?  Or foraging for something?  That stick doesn't appear to be floating.  It's stuck in the gunk. 
 And another Grackle.... What's he looking at?
He flies back to another twig and looks intently at something.
 He flies to yet another perch and stares intently.
Another perch.
Into he air...
Did it go over the dam?
Got it!  Suddenly there is something red in his beak.
Another Grackle is further out walking on floating twigs.  All goes well for awhile.
A new twig he's stepping on sinks and he starts to sink himself but his wings come up and he's into the air.

What's that under the walkway on the metal plate?  A nest?
 Yes, a nest!
 Indeed a nest of Robin chicks.

You never know what you will see when you take a walk and take the time to actually look.

Donegal Browne


Sally said...

Robins nest in very interesting locations don't they? I wonder about their decision-making. We have a pair that nests around the raptor rehabilitation center I volunteer at. One would think that nesting above a hawk's mew would not be a good location, or above the peregrine's mew. I had our education GHOW on the glove yesterday and the parents were making quite a ruckus at our presence-3 ready-to-fledge babies peeking out over the edge of the rafters of the mew! We even had one nest INSIDE our large flight cage with rehabbing hawks inside it! I know one or two made it out to fledge, but not all...I don't understand their reasoning for nest placement.

Donegal Browne said...

Basically, Robins as well as many other passerines are "wired" for certain criteria when it comes to nest building. And if say the criteria is met in other ways, it appears that not using a raptor mew isn't plugged in as a negative enough option to avoid it. Many birds with this sort of "wiring" don't live long enough to learn from the successes and their mistakes. Whereas with Red-tailed hawks, as they have to "figure out" how to build a nest when the urge strikes, aren't always successful their first season or even their second unless 0ne of the pair is experienced. But it makes them adaptable to far more environments than many songbirds for instance once they get the hang of it.

There is no reasoning involved I'm afraid but rather wiring and triggers which works in the majority of cases and for those it doesn't the others make up for. Not pretty nor our druthers, I'm afraid but true.