Down on Cooper-line
Wednesday November 24th 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Family,Wildlife

Humming James Taylor’s song that inspired the title. “Took a fall from a windy height, only knew how to hold on tight.”

The first bird I saw this morning when I came out into the family room was that vividly black and white-striped woodpecker, enjoying her breakfast. Good to have things back to normal.

My neighbors have a clothesline with a large, sturdy wooden post to either end, about half of the thing in view of my back window. Today I saw a black squirrel who apparently expected a telephone wire and tried to run down the rope. Twang! It flipped him, he grabbed for it, found himself suddenly clinging upside down while still trying to run the length; that didn’t work so well, so he scrambled to get back up to the top of it. Twang!  He edged away out of my sight, repeatedly being bounced, again and again.

Squirrel trampolines. Who knew.

A few minutes later, a black squirrel safely on the fenceline, (same one?) I looked up again and there, sitting on that post near him and in plain view was the big adult Cooper’s hawk with her blue upper head, sitting in the chilly sunshine.  Casually turning her head every now and then to watch some small bird and then another pass by overhead.  Checking out the entrees.  The squirrel seemed oblivious; she ignored him.

And lifted a big yellow foot and scratched herself. Ah, lovely day today, should make for a good flight.

Meantime I was picking up the phone and calling my neighbor. She ran across her house phone in hand to see the hawk from right there, and together we birdwatched across the telephone wire.

At last it stretched those huge wings wide and flapped off in no particular hurry across my yard. Nope–my feeder was finch-free on the far side too just then. Ah well then.

My neighbor told me about having recently watched a bird, she didn’t know what kind, swooping through snapping up the small cloud of termites that swarm here at the start of every rainy season, like catching popcorn as it bursts free of the popper. It was clearly enjoying the rare treat. Hey, little one: have seconds! Thirds! Bring your whole family, make it a feast!

It’s going to be cold enough tonight and tomorrow night that it could actually snow. The rain doesn’t come till the day after, so it looks like the 1964 date for the last snowman-able amount will hold.  But it’s chilly, the little birds are eating up a storm at the feeders, and the big ones await their turn at them. All is in balance.

And we have another flight we’re watching for. John is almost home! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Birdwatching across the telephone 🙂

Have I ever told you this one? Many a year ago, I noticed a squirrel right in front of my windown on the thorny brambles (upside down, no less). As soon as he noticed I noticed him, the panic was obvious, but he couldn’t run away: he had to pat the branch down to find a spot to put his little paw, and then again and again. At the end of the branch, he bumped into the holly…

Comment by tinebeest 11.24.10 @ 11:20 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you and your family have a wonderful gathering.

Comment by Jody 11.25.10 @ 7:11 am

All the sweeter for sharing it with your neighbor!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Comment by Channon 11.25.10 @ 7:44 am

I love your stories, especially the birds.

Comment by Chery 11.25.10 @ 8:07 am

And a happy Thanksgiving to all of you! My word! Acrobatic squirrels! What’s next, Hawks singing Christmas carols?

Comment by Don Meyer 11.25.10 @ 10:19 am

I read this post to my daughter and both of us laughed until we were nearly crying over the squirrel trampoline — thanks for sharing that visual

hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!!

Comment by Bev 11.25.10 @ 10:58 am

Best to your clan for Thanksgiving. I hope as many of them gather as you can get.

Comment by Sandra 11.25.10 @ 11:56 am

Hoping your family is together for this Thanksgiving holiday, Still waiting for snow here, in southern Wisconsin,Watching our cat, looking out the window growling at the squirrels in the back yard.

Comment by kris 11.25.10 @ 4:37 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!!

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 11.25.10 @ 7:35 pm

Happy holiday to you. We’re currently at 13F and the snow is definitely sticking. I think I’ll move the bird feeder back up to the deck railing this weekend – it gets a bit brisk and snowy to trek out to the pole in the backyard.

I hope that second flight landed safely and on time!

Comment by twinsetellen 11.25.10 @ 10:22 pm

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