Saturday, September 25, 2010

All's well in birdland--for now...

Sharp-shinned hawk, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA

I knew something was up. The robins were making the high-pitched distress call and there wasn't another bird in sight.

There--up where the resident red-tailed hawk usually presides--a Cooper's hawk (or so I thought). I'd seen crows mobbing one earlier in the week. Is this why bird activity has seemed so suppressed at the CRP recently?

Suddenly, from across the field, a little hawk. The larger hawk flew over and engaged it. They flew circles around each other and flew off together into the woods by the river. Aha. Not a Cooper's at all. A female sharp-shinned and her (much smaller) male.

And then a kingfisher comes screaming across the sky (actually, more like "rattling"). It flushes the hawks and flies off after them, careful to stay above and not below. The jays (who've been quiet up until now) finally muster the courage to show themselves and scream.

As if on cue, a flock of northern rough-winged swallows emerges and streams across the field, ending up on a single utility wire.

(I like how they look in the morning sun)

By the time I left, the bluebirds were beginning to frolic in the treetops. As they flew across the field, a passing crow diverged from its flight path, dive-bombing one of the bluebird children. Unsuccessful, it flew on, and everything was OK. For now...

1 comment:

Susan W. said...

You write wonderfully! Your lyrical prose turns an ordinary day into an exciting adventure in the wilderness. Very enjoyable post!