Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Avian adventures.

Just recently I noticed the robins in my dogwood had babies in the nest.
Well, just a couple days later and my baby robins have become fledglings. I took this picture while one of the parents chirped at me nervously from nearby.
One the things I liked best about walking at the dam is the variety of birds, from the blackbirds that perch on the sand bags, the Great Blue Herons that wade in the shallows, and the songbirds who serenade me. One day last week, I encountered a flock of sparrows on the dam. They flew up over the side of the dam and circled me as I walked, then flew back off over the other side.  My walking haiku(ish):

The swallows appear 
To swoop and dive around me 
As I walk. Magic.
video
Another day I heard what sounded like knocking wooden pegs with a mallet. I thought someone might be setting up a tent, but the noise went on and on.
This is a lousy phone photo, but the noise was this guy, a big pileated woodpecker. He appeared to be doing his level best to sever this limb from the tree.
I wish my phone took better distance photos, but you'll just have to take my word for this one. While walking one morning a week ago, a bald eagle flew in front of me, pursued by two mockingbirds, and then around the lake out of sight. I didn't realized he'd wheeled around in an effort to escape his tormentors. Suddenly he swooped in so low over my head that I noticed the shadow and the air from his wings before I registered what it was, and I ducked. I watched while he flew into the woods, then I ran down the road to follow him until I was standing in front of the tree where he'd landed. He spread his wings out for a moment while staring me down. I said out loud, "I get it, you're a big, scary raptor." Apparently realizing that hadn't worked, he made a big show of turning on the branch so that his back was to me. After a bit, he twisted his head around to look at me over his shoulder. I said, "Yeah, I'm still here." I swear he heaved a big sigh before he flew off over the field. Poor thing was probably thinking he couldn't get a moment's peace. I've had days like that.

There is just so much to be amazed at in this world.

36 comments:

  1. We have a nest in our yard right now. Such pretty blue eggs with brown speckles. Yes I agree that our world has so much to offer and it is all amazing.
    Have a wonderful 4th of July.

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    1. Robin's eggs are really lovely, aren't they?

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  2. i like your walking haiku...it is magic...saw a heron last time we were in bristol...was beautiful and stoic standing at the edge of the lake...i miss seeing them from when we were in florida....

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    1. We have loads of them here - I rarely don't see at least a couple of them.

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  3. interesting connection you made with the bald eagle.

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  4. You’re right, this world is amazing.
    It’s magical when we are given a glimpse f the wonders of it.

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    1. I'm so grateful for all that wondrousness.

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  5. Love your baby robin photo---so many different, sunny shades of green! We have those pileated woodpeckers here too, always busy hammering away. You'd think someone was out there with a jack hammer----especially when they start on the side of the house! It's not wood. They just need some counselling----should I send them over?

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    1. It's been such a mix of rain and sun here that everything is crazily lush and green right now.

      I don't think I can help the woodpeckers - they're birdbrains. XD

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  6. Okay first, I LOVE the photo of your baby robin. Wow...how fast they grow! That's a stunning shot - love the green.

    And your walking haiku is just beautiful!

    And what a cool interaction you had with the eagle! I once had an Indian shaman tell me that eagles represent your keen ability to view life from above; seeing the bigger picture.

    Do you know what my favorite bird is? A crow. For some reason I just love them. I somehow feel very connected to crows.

    Lovely post, girl!
    X

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    1. Thank you! I like that about the eagle. I think of them as a symbol of strength and independence. I don't mean in a patriotic way - I mean personal strength.

      Hawks are my bird, though. I see them when I need to see them. Isn't it funny how we have connections to certain animals?

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  7. I like that sound sample of the woodpecker thumping away at his task. It can be hard to get nice photos of birds, with all that flying about, but you did a nice job!
    I really enjoy watching the hawks circle around over open areas searching for prey. But I don't want to watch them actually catch some poor little creature, even though circle of life and all that...

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    1. If I'd had my camera, I'd have gotten at least half-way decent shots. But I never take it walking.

      I saw a hawk once flying along with a sizable snake in it's talons!

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  8. Once, at a lake in British Columbia, on a lake I saw a bald eagle go over, pursued by seagulls. After a few seconds, there was just one seagull left, swooping in at the eagle's back. As it dove, the eagle inverted, met it, white feathers flew, and the seagull spiraled down, landing with a splash. The eagle flew on. My imagination heard the eagle say "I'm not gonna even eat you...."

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    1. I don't know why smaller birds pick on hawks and eagles like that. Revenge? It seems unkind.

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    2. Because raptors raid their nests. I've seen ground-nesting birds swooping down and harassing coyotes to protect their nests and young.

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    3. I thought revenge might be at the heart of it!

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  9. One doesn't think of any other birds tormenting an eagle!

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    1. I see that all the time - they also go after hawks.

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  10. Twice now, my husband has been weeding our rock wall and had a hawk swoop down to catch a chipmunk. I'm glad it's him and not me, because I'd likely pee my pants if a hawk swooped down next to me.

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    1. I had a hawk swoop by me while I was weeding and to grab a mourning dove. Startled me!

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  11. You are so right...Everything here is lush and green, though a bit too manicured for my taste. It has been raining most of the day again, though yesterday was dry and I was able to sit outside for an hour or so in the sun.

    When I was about 12, my parents took up bird watching and would sit with binoculars on our back patio in the evenings. One day my mother exclaimed,"Oh, look at the woodpecker," pointing to a nearby tree. I replied,"It's a bird."

    She began laughing at me, and when I explained that the only woodpecker I had ever known about was Woody of the television cartoon, she laughed all the more...

    I was never able to live that one down. Thankfully, my knowledge of the avian world expanded. Nice post.

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    1. My grandmother was always talking about the birds in her yard and I was completely disinterested. Now I find myself becoming just like her in that!

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  12. You were lucky to capture so much all at once like that. The outside world is spectacular!

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  13. Great experience...thanks for sharing...phone pics and all.

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  14. You're lucky that you can see so many variety of birds. All I get are magpies, seagulls, and chickadees.

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    1. I feel sure there are more than three species of birds in our area. But some it is learning about what's there and noticing. Besides, those are all perfectly fine birds!

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  15. I never see any woodpeckers round here. I didn't realise they were so noisy!

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    1. Very noisy! I don't know how they don't keep headaches!

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  16. You've really been in the thick of the avian world lately.

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  17. I'm always stunned at how loud woodpeckers are. Every single time I think it's a woodsmen axing something down.

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    1. They are pretty remarkable, aren't they?

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