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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Sep 6, 2012

Woodpecker entertainment

Today was windy and cloudy, as it was yesterday and I think that I will forever associate a windy day with birds. I have been seeing so many birds on, or following a windy, turbulent day that I won't be able to help it. Today, the process was reversed, birds that I saw yesterday were simply gone today.  The birds that I did see this morning were all resident species.

They were mostly Magpies, who seemed to be having a convention in the little forest today.  I haven't seen so many assembled in one place in quite a few years.  They were both very vocal, and loud, as they tend to be when gathered in numbers.  Since I was listening hard for unfamiliar bird song, it was both annoying and frustrating.  In fact, they were so loud, I almost missed the call of a yellow shafted Northern Flicker that I have been trying to capture in flight for several weeks now.

Adult Northern Flicker
The two juvenile flickers
But I was compensated by not just one, but three Northern Flickers in the tree tops.  One adult and two juveniles.  Now I love Northern Flickers and not only are because they beautiful.  They have personality.  They are not easily intimidated for one, and seem very confident, as well as intelligent.  These ones were not behaving as they should though.

The adult chose the top of a broken tree to perch, while the youngsters stayed on the lower branches of a tree nearby.  All three were actively looking around as if they were searching for, or watching something, but stayed put for the most part.

Adult perched at the top
Something of interest in the sky

I thought they were searching for a food source at first, and then began to wonder what was going on, but not for long.  Here was my chance to catch one in flight after all.  The adult continued to look around, but then relaxed for a bit.  It wasn't long though, before something again caused him to look around, call out and finally change positions by flying up to a higher perch.

Calling out

The two juveniles joined him there a few minutes later.

I was so intent on catching one of these flickers in flight, that I didn't think to look around myself to see what they found to be so interesting.  So I wasn't at all prepared when the Merlin flew by overhead, chased by a mob of magpies and a Raven.  In fact I didn't get a clue until one of the Flickers actually ducked.


I missed the action not once, but  several more times, mainly because I wasn't in an open space big enough to capture it.  At this point I really had to wonder how long the action had actually been going on for.  The Northern Flickers obviously knew and once it was over, they disappeared, having had their entertainment, while I was once again feeling frustrated. 

Now I may have mentioned in a previous post that a Juvenile Raven had staked out the little forest as his or her territory.  He or she was apparently very busy defending his territory today from intruders.  As I was walking home, I caught these photos, which made up nicely for the ones I missed earlier.

Raven attacking Cooper's Hawk
Cooper's and Raven sizing each other up
The Raven and the Cooper's Hawk flew over me in aerial combat, coming from the direction of the little forest, just when I had almost reached home.  Neither bird was hurt that I could tell, and they ended up flying off in different directions, with the Raven heading back to the little forest.



1 comment:

  1. Susan, even though you missed the images you were hoping for you did get to see soem amazing interactions & behaviors!