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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Jun 22, 2012

Tiny, fiercely protective and courageous

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had occasion to be stunned by the courage of some of the smaller bird species.   You see, I unintentionally ventured too close to their nests, or perhaps their fledgelings.  Although I didn't see them if they were there.  

On the first occasion, it was the Dark-eyed Juncos who started zipping by, and all around me, on the little trail I was following.   They were deliberately vocal too, and quite obviously wanting me to follow them away from the direction I was going.  When I didn't do so, they approached even closer, while their voices rose in volume.  Both male and female were present, each taking it in turn to get closer and closer to me, in an effort to get my attention.

Here the Male Dark-eyed Junco still has a beak full to feed his chicks
The Female Junco protesting loudly
On the second occasion I was bombarded by the voice and attention of a pair of Song Sparrows, coincidentally enough along the same little trail, only a week later.  Except this time I was heading in the opposite direction. It made me wonder what other bird species had chosen nest sites there and it was also brought home to me just how little we humans really see of our surroundings, when we are visiting with nature.  
Very Vocal-Song Sparrow
On another fly-by
Just yesterday the same happened again while I was exploring a new trail alongside the creek in the ravine just a few blocks from my home.  This time it was a pair of White-throated sparrows.  They got so close to me, that I literally had to watch where I put my feet.  At first the male was trying to get my attention from below and the female from above. There was dirt flying from the male's feet as he scurried around on the forest floor trying to get my attention.   In fact, both parents were so quick that I was hard pressed to keep track of them.  They also switched places frequently.

Male White-throated sparrow
Set for another fly-by
I can't imagine the amount of courage it would take for such a tiny creature to accost another who is  likely to be several hundred times larger than itself.  On each of these occasions it was obvious that these were parents in their fiercest protective mode.  Of the three species, the White-throated sparrow was the fastest and the Song-sparrow the loudest, but each was quite determined to protect their young from any perceived threat and I feel privileged to have witnessed the behavior. 


1 comment:

  1. A wonderful post that shows just how protective even the smaller birds can be!