Fight the Amoral Fight

Of birds and bees

By: sp34n119w, 7:31 PM GMT on June 01, 2009

Don't most birds sleep at night? I mean, except for owls, of course. Songbirds should be quietly sleeping the night away at 2 AM, right?
For the last couple of weeks there has been a bird in a tree outside my window singing all night long! It is LOUD. Its song is quite varied. It doesn't just peep; it has whistles and warbles and trills, as well. Man, it's annoying!
I hear it during the day, too, and know exactly where it is, but, have not seen it. I have no idea what it is and the variety of calls has me thinking it might be mockingbird or maybe even an escaped parrot. I really don't care. I just want it to shut up.

…..
Two days ago I saw a red-headed bird in the same palm tree as the beehive. He was tapping on the other side from the hive and I figured he was finding plenty of bugs because he stayed a long time. The bees don't seem to mind. They are still buzzing about contently although I do see many dead ones on the ground below.

I have only seen one other woodpecker around here, briefly, a couple of years ago, and it was smaller and had different markings. Yesterday, throughout the afternoon, I saw two, then three, of these new woodpeckers! They were really tearing into the tree, pulling out clumps of stuff and tossing it into the air. By mid-afternoon one of them could stick his whole head in the hole he'd made. I went out for a couple of hours and, when I returned, the woodpeckers were still there and had added a fourth to their gang. Only two were still pecking away, though, and had dug themselves holes that their entire bodies could fit into. They'd scuttle in, scuttle out, toss some palm stuffing away, and repeat.

This morning, after the baby bird adventure, I saw that the woodpeckers had returned. One of the holes is now big enough for a bird to go in and turn around to stick his head out. It is beginning to look like a nest building exercise. Seems kind of late in the year, but, who knows?

My best guess from perusing whatbird.com is that these are Acorn Woodpeckers. I'll keep an eye on them to see what they do. Me and the cat, that is.

…..
Then there is this morning's adventure, which I posted in a comment in my previous blog. Here it is, again:

Somebody couldn't find the car key this morning and was sure I knew where it was, so, I was awakened at 7:15. The key was in the car. Not my doing. Such is life.

I'm no good at going back to bed so was making coffee when I heard a terrible ruckus outside. It was birds and not the usual songbird noises of the morning. Part of my foggy brain told me to ignore it, I don't want to know, though another part already did know. It had to be a cat vs. bird problem.

I looked out the front window and, sure enough, my garage cat had a new plaything. Baby bird was hopping around and momma bird was in a tree and both birds were screaming bloody murder. I knew I shouldn't have looked!

Out the door I went, chased the cat away, checked baby bird and saw that it isn't yet able to fly. It did try to get away from me and almost made it under the fence which would have made it unreachable and the cat would have had his breakfast.

Picture groggy me (or my shadow, lol) running to get the cat's porch box, dumping the blanket out, chasing the cat away again, and covering the bird, while momma continues to screech. Now what?

Run into the house for a towel and another box that has a lid, chase the cat, shepherd the bird into the box, and bring it inside. Now what?

COFFEE!!! Pleeeeease!

Momma stuck around for awhile, then flew to another tree, then away. I have no idea where the nest is so I can't put baby back. Now waiting for animal control to pick it up.

I've been on whatbird.com trying to figure out what kind of bird I've got. I think it is some sort of Flicker. Since females are usually not as colorful as males and often are not pictured, and babies aren't described on whatbird, it's hard to tell. Momma was basic brown with a light dusting of red below her throat. She was about 10 inches long, I'm guessing, with a bill like a woodpecker - medium length, tapered, made for digging for food. She had no trouble clinging to the side of a palm tree.

Here's the baby - finally on its way to health and safety -



Funny that this happened on a day when I was awake so early. Of course, for all I know, the cat is getting a bird a day and I just don't see it happening.

…..
I saw the cat in the yard a few hours later and, as I stepped through the door, he picked something up off the ground in front of him and took off under the fence. I'm thinking bird's head. So, he got his treat, anyway.

.....
Half an hour ago I was sitting on the front steps watching the woodpeckers down the road and a little brown hummingbird came buzzing up and hovered right in front of my face, about two feet away, for a good ten seconds.
What's with me and birds, again? Sheesh.

.....
California breathing
(as LowerCal puts it :))



Updated: 9:05 PM GMT on June 01, 2009

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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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