Good morning everyone! I hope you are all doing well today! The little birds are certainly busy this morning. Between the purple finches and white throated sparrows they are really going through the bird seed. I haven’t had this many white throated sparrows around the feeders in several years. I think there is more of them than the purple finches. They are busy filling up, getting ready for that long migration to warmer locales. Last evening all the birds were around, including the chickadees, blue jays and a white breasted nuthatch. It was nice to see the nuthatch again, haven’t seen one of them since last fall. Usually they stay all winter, but not last year, though we did have the red breasted nuthatches. Anyway, suddenly the blue jays screamed and everyone scattered as a merlin shot in and caught himself a meal. A merlin is a small falcon, looks very much like the peregrine falcon though much smaller. They are about the size of a blue jay and can come flying in on target amazingly fast. And they don’t often miss.
Even caught the blue jays by surprise. However, he was after a smaller bird. I’m not sure what he caught however as he flew off with it almost as fast as he came in. They will go after blue jays too if hungry enough, but they prefer small birds, mice and insects. It would have been nice to get a picture of it but he was just too fast and flew too far away afterward. Usually a nice peaceful area for the little birds out here with lots of food and lots of places to hide. But occasionally danger arrives too. Hawks and falcons in the summer and the northern shrike in the winter. Fortunately the blue jays will take care of the shrike and chase it away. It wasn’t too long and the little birds were back to eating again. Jasper and the chipmunks are not chasing this morning, too cold I guess, their only thought is getting food.
Hmm, not a bad thought, maybe some more coffee too. Here are a couple more zinnias to enjoy this morning, a light lavender and a nice red one. I hope you all have a great day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2020 Steve McLeod.