Monday, October 02, 2006

Through the Fence

Find the Ovenbird.

An enlargement of the bottom center of the above photo.

Find the Warbler.

In the bath.

The Urban Warbler

Quicksilver, my African Grey Parrot, and I were peering through the Hell's Kitchen Bird Park fence looking for migrating birds. Now don't start screaming and throwing things he was a rescue. Silver is getting bored and now and again a gumpy little voice mumbles into my ear. "Wanna go home".

The plants are drying up, the trash has certainly collected, and things look a bit nasty but there is still a chance that the spot will be of some use to visitors.

The grumpy voice is getting louder, "Wanna go HOME!"

Suddenly there is a flick of movement. My, my look who's walking out of the park and towards the fifty million odd flies buzzing around the...well...the stuff that flies like.

She gives us a look, we're only a scant six feet away. How very urban of her. Rather like the brass of a mini Pale Male on the way to hunt.

Then rather surprisingly, she turns and walks right towards us. Interested in Silver? Might that gray guy with the red tail be after her flies.? She's really quite bold. No danger of warbler neck here. And no mumbling about going home from the bird on my shoulder. He's mesmerized. He's never seen a Black-throated Blue Warbler before. And he's never seen that many flies all in one place either.

The Warbler turns, walks back toward her prey, and jumps on the paper bag solidly with her tiny feet. The bag crackles and a horde of flies take to the air. I begin to suspect there is technique here.

She goes and stands on their prey. Watching the patterns of her prey as they begin to come back to continue with their business.
(Oh dear, that doesn't really look like "dog", does it?)

In a blink, she hops off , eyes her victim on the sidewalk, and waits.

Blam! Angle perfect. She nabs it on the way up. Chews. Swallows. And continues her hunting while we watch. Catching at least a dozen more in a spare few minutes, even with the flits into cover behind the fence when unsuspecting pedestrians clomp by. And nary a word from the parrot.

Though I'm betting the next time there is a fly in the house, that insect is going to be in some very serious trouble.