Filed under: Wildlife
Two ravens landed in my back yard yesterday, standing there watching me, testing, and then quickly lifting away when I objected, flying in a half circle just outside the periphery of the property and jerking back away when I waved my arms when they got too close. Territory is a language they speak (loudly, at times. Caw.) Back to your willow tree, guys.
Every spring, they try. Once. And then the young ones decide the rules their parents had taught them were real.
But that challenge could not be allowed to stand, and the absence of birds at my feeder the entire rest of the day but for two frantic all-ee-all-ee-in-come-free minutes, twice, then frantic scrambles away, suggested that a Cooper’s hawk had seen what those ravens had done and was having none of it.
Time to claim that which is closer to the ground as well as the redwood heights above.
The first shake of the window got my attention, the second bounce still didn’t stop it and then at last the dove turned towards that tree with the hawk now in close pursuit.
He was back in the afternoon: the solitary sentry at the center of the fence, his chest not streaked with youth but not quite chestnut yet either, at least not at that angle in the shadows of the heavy clouds. It could have been just the light. He stood.
A while later, wide wings caught my eye as he came in to guard the top of the awning above the bird feeder, that typical low swoop with the upwards at the end. Three sightings in one day? I looked at my calendar, and yes: equinox. Now I get it.
He stood there for some time, too.
He flew down to the patio to what I had not quite realized till that moment was his other I-am-here: the wooden box. But in the instant his feet would have touched down he tucked them back up again and turned and flew towards the redwood.
I felt like I’d wrecked it. I’d left my tomato seedlings at that edge and he’d seen at the last that they were too flimsy to support him, right when he no longer had quite enough lift to simply land past them. As soon as he was out of sight I opened the slider and moved them to the other end of the box so he could have his perch back.
The one he likes to people-watch from (and also look for finches cowering in the elephant ears against the house.)
It is raining hard and will off and on for the next five days. There is easy food just outside of the rain for the seedeaters and they will want that.
He’s got a nest up there again this year. He will be back.
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