[CT Birds] Musings on a quiet afternoon

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Apr 8 20:12:08 EDT 2010

After planting 72 pansy plants in this 80* weather I decided I  had earned 
a nice cold beer.  I took it out to sit in the shade of the back  of my 
house, my old bins with me just in case.  I noticed last fall that I  had far 
more than the normal number of Titmice in the neighborhood, and they  stayed 
with me all winter, helping the Bluejays and Nuthatches devour 50 lbs of  
peanuts in the process.  They are still here - now my yard sounds like an  echo 
chamber.   At least, in the last six months or so I have learned  to 
associate several new calls with them.  Fits right in with my #1 rule -  if you 
hear a bird and have no idea what it is -- its a Titmouse.
Two doves  flew into my yard and perched together up in the maple over my 
head.  They  sat for a few minutes, bobbing their heads up and down at each 
other.   Eventually, 1 then the 2nd flew down and started feeding under my 
nyjer  feeders.  I paid them no more heed until I heard a sudden explosion of  
wings.  Looking up I saw 1 in full flight, the other being squeezed to  
death  by my neighborhood Cooper's Hawk.  What a sad ending to that  romance.  
After that, 1 dove returned several times, the survivor I assume,  seemingly 
undeterred and obviously very hungry.  A few minutes after the  ambush I 
watched a Red-shouldered Hawk slide by, being pushed north by a stiff  wind, 
its crescents glowing in the sunshine.  
As we had no northern  finches this winter, I had a very large flock of 
Goldfinches using my nyjer  feeders, well over  50 birds in the middle of 
winter.  Most of them  must be still here as I have to refill the feeders every 
day or two.  I  notice that I now have several males that have molted into 
almost complete  breeding plumage, only their black caps being just short of 
perfect.  Seems  to me it is quite a bit early for that.
Got chilly and the beer was gone, so  I went in.
Don Morgan

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