Friday, November 16, 2007

Stalking the Stalker

This morning started out like most mornings. I filled the feeders (I'm filling a couple with black oil sunflower seed and a couple with a "gourmet" mixed seed) and watched the incoming mob of house sparrows.


These are the guys I affectionately referred to as "ice cream heads" before I had identified them. Hey, their caps remind me of chocolate vanilla swirl sundaes! What can I say? It's a big ol' sparrow party around here.

Tons o' fun

I plugged in the heated bird bath today. When I checked it this morning, it was frozen. Time to turn on the juice! The bird bath stayed firmly mounted through the windy weather the other day. I was quite pleased.

House Sparrows at the bird bath

The day carried on. The slate colored dark eyed juncos visited (my new favorite backyard bird), and the ducks came for their usual mid-day lunch. This male got seeds all over his head - messy eater.

Seedy Mallard

The females were a bit more discreet. I believe these are Mallards.

Peek a boo!

As afternoon approached, I saw a first in my yard: mourning doves, in the tree! They hung out here all summer, sitting on the deck railing or on the ground, but not once did I see them in the tree.

3 doves in a row
Mourning doves

All of a sudden, I heard the whoosh of a flock full of birds flying up and over my house. I looked out the window, and the tree was bare... except for a hawk! I think this is an immature Cooper's Hawk, but I'm not sure. If anybody knows for sure, please leave a comment!

Immature Cooper's Hawk

The hawk stayed for a good half hour or so, and I went outside ever so quietly to try to get some better pictures of it. The trees blocked most shots, but I got a few where you could see those piercing eyes.

It was a lot like stalking the stalker. I watched the hawk through the binoculars for a while, and he was very definitely looking for a bird to eat. After a while, a cat came up to the brush, also stalking the hawk!

The hawk finally left, and within a few minutes, all of the other birds came back to the feeders.

Upon return, I finally saw more house finches! I'd been afraid that the one male that was hanging around was alone, but today he had 3 other males and a few females with him. He's no longer a loner.

Male house finch

As night fell, the ducks swam off and the birds nestled into the trees. I'm left to wonder what they're all doing now.


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