Posted by: atowhee | May 26, 2020


There was a radical change overnight in our neighborhood.  I slept right through it.  The dog didn’t even wake me up to go out at 3AM.  What changed?  I’ll never know.   But the evidence at dawn was clear enough.  The feeders were quiet, the air was quiet, something had changed.  For sure, most of the 15-20 starlings that have raided and raucously discussed our garden for two weeks were gone…not coming around at all today.  One adult starling with two fledglings, that was our Tuesday total.

So it was Chickadee Tuesday, with the big brutes out of the way:

Chickadees are quick at ablutions.  A robin or starling will get into the tub, flap wings vigorously and send large drops flying in all directions. This will go on for seconds at a time.  The chickadee flips its wings so fast I get a single shot of action, then the tiny bird stands still, dripping. The wash portion lasts less than a second.
Did most of the starling flock go off to some better food source?  Was it time for the youngsters to learn skills now that they’ve mastered my suet logs and the bird baths?  A hay field?  Gold course?  Parking lot?  Orchard? How to pester Acorn Woodpeckers?

The next door Bushtits are still feeding nestlings.  I got a quick shot of one adult coming to the nest this afternoon.  The right hand dot is above the bird.  Left hand dot is at the nest entrance:btonest (2)_LI



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