Interior designing
Saturday August 20th 2011, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

There has been a juvenile Cooper’s hawk in view several times this past week, the first time I’ve seen one all year and after I had reconciled myself to the thought that no fledglings had succeeded from the nest above the house.  I guess one did!

Two days ago I saw it swoop from the fence, spread its striped tail in a circle and do a tight U-turn to line itself up just so to come up from behind a squirrel on the ground, which froze. It started to reach for it–and then I, trying to get a better look, apparently spooked it away from its lunch. (Sorry!)  But what a sight!

Meantime. I mentioned to a friend just yesterday that in our temperate climate the songbirds will often brood twice if conditions are good. (I didn’t say I thought that was roughly at the spring and summer solstices.)

When Kathy was here a few weeks ago, she brought me a bagful of fur brushed from her dog to scare the squirrels away from my amaryllises. It was pretty well mashed together; this was good, it had enough heft it wouldn’t easily blow away. I spread it around the pots with the biggest fistful closest to my daughter-in-law’s birdfeeder.

It’s been long enough now that I can definitely say, it worked! And the stuff stayed put, too!

Today I did a doubletake: there was a small clump of it, quite loosened up and now in a round-to-oval shape (or at least the part that I could see), peeking out from under the wooden box on the patio. Moving. With one sunflower seed stuck in it as if to mimic an eye.

Wait, what?

I looked at the amaryllis table and there was a big gouge facing me taken out of that big clump,  but I had no idea how it had come off after all this time. The wind was still catching at the loosened fuzz, meantime, which was going up, down, up, down–but wait–what wind?

As I puzzled over it, a little Bewick’s wren popped out from under the box and looked up at me as if to say hi. Or maybe, duh. (The clump had stopped moving.)

And then the fur and the bird were gone. Poof!

It was at least a half hour, maybe an hour later that I looked out again and saw this small amount. (It was much lighter in the sun’s direct light than the camera’s. Note the new shape.)

The most white part of the fur had been separated out and rejected. Beige only, thank you. We like to keep the lights down low, shhhh now, our babies will be sleeping.

6 Comments so far
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Very interesting that white fur wasn’t satisfactory. Glad the dog hair is working for you; neither it nor human hair worked here, but then our critters are more accustomed to it, I suppose?

Comment by Channon 08.21.11 @ 3:39 am

I wonder if the white wasn’t more of the guard hairs and the beige the soft undercoat. That mama wants a nice soft bed, perhaps?

(and wrens, I just love wrens. Thanks for bringing their images to mind.)

Comment by twinsetellen 08.21.11 @ 6:51 am

hmm, I wonder if some of my lab’s fur would be satisfactory — it’s black! the birds here seem to be okay with it — I’ve seen them pick it up and take it off into the trees

Comment by Bev 08.21.11 @ 8:37 am

Wow! Dog fur meant for one purpose ends up serving another. I think that’s neat! Perfurectly grand.

Comment by Don Meyer 08.21.11 @ 10:33 am

LOL – that is so great. Guess I need to put out the clumps from the cat brushes for my birds!

Comment by Renee 08.21.11 @ 12:33 pm

Very interesting, the Bewick’s preference for white over beige fur. If the “white” has dark tips, that’s Katja the German Shepherd’s guard hairs. The beige would be her softer undercoat.

By the way, there’s PLENTY more where that bag came from!

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 08.22.11 @ 9:55 pm

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