Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sharpie terrorizes berry party.

Sharp-shinned hawk, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
The berry party had just started as I arrived. Catbirds, robins, and a dozen bluebirds arriving to finish off what was left of the pokeberries. Then all of a sudden without warning, they all took off at once and swiftly flew to the other side of the field.

Interesting. I started seeing bluejays flying silently, intent on something. And then I heard the shriek. A sharp-shinned hawk in close pursuit of a flicker!

I wasn't able to take any good photos but I thought at least I'd record it, so here it is, in four segments.

Recording one: hear the commotion as the red squirrel and bluejays set off the alarm. The sharpie is responsible for the harshest outbursts. Hear it yell twice at the end. The terrified flicker is also in there.

Recording two: Note the lack of bird sound (only some distant robin tuts) in the background. Then the bluejays attack in force.

Recording three: The bluejay harassment grows as do the sharpie's cries of annoyance.

Recording four: Remarkably, even though the sharpie is nearby, song birds (particularly the catbirds, bluebirds, and song sparrow) begin calling again. As if to say, OK the bluejays have got this one. We can resume what we were doing.

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