Monday, February 11, 2013

wren and pigeon and snow geese

So, we had an unusual visitor to the birdfeeder a few days ago (Friday morning I think): a little bird that I think was a wren, out on the deck beneath the table, doing a little clean-up on fallen sunflower seed fragments. Certainly not a finch, nor a chickadee (no cap) nor junco (no hood), nor hummingbird (small, but not that small). Rolly-polly body and long straight cocked tail. Don't know if it'll prove a new regular (like the little woodpecker who's showing up recently in the tree from which the suet-feeder hangs) or just passing through.

Speaking of passing through, once in a long while we see a hawk nearby, eying the feeder (or, as Janice calls it, 'checking out the buffet'). Recently one must have availed itself of an opportunity, because there were pigeon feathers on the ground beneath the feeder, and some more under the nearest tree. Think a hawk must have swooped down on an unfortunate pigeon (who can't use the finch-feeder but enjoy the ground-bird seed I toss over the rail for the ground birds below). Easy to forget that 'hawk' and 'dove' mean a lot more than loose descriptions of politicians.

But, not to end on a downer note, a few weeks ago Janice spotted and shared with me an unusual and striking sight: snow geese! Sometimes geese land in the grassy field between us and the elementary school. Sometimes a lot of geese. This was one of those occasions: maybe a hundred geese scattered about feeding on grass and enjoying themselves, among whom were three with strikingly different coloration. At first she thought they were seagulls (gulls can get pretty big in these parts), but the binoculars proved otherwise. We watched them for quite a while thr. the monocular and binoculars, and it was clear that the other ('Canadian') geese accepted them as among their own: sometimes they wd mingle and sometimes gather together among the larger flock.

--John R.

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