Good morning on this very cool day in May! When I went out to feed the birds this morning I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was snowing. And staying on the ground. The temp was 28F (-2C). Normally we should be well above the freezing point at night this time of year. And our days should be warmer too. This has been a very cold spring, kind of unusual considering the snow melted early which normally means a very warm and dry spring. But instead it’s been cold and wet. Oh well. It happens some years and this is one of those years. There was a beautiful purple headed grackle here yesterday morning, and right on the feeder too. So I went quietly outside to try for a picture and…he was gone. And he never came back, at least I never saw it again.
This morning he was back, unfortunately being cloudy the pic wouldn’t show up as nice, but still…I went out again and…he was gone. The sun is shining now, that would be such a nice picture. I have a couple pics of the purple headed variety, but they’re not very good, I would like a better one. It’s easy to get the blue headed variety for some reason, but there is generally more of them so that’s probably why. That Cooper’s hawk was back yesterday. The first time he was after a junco. I’m not sure if the junco planned this or not, but he turned flew behind me. The hawk turned too, but I waved my arm and he turned again and decided to try for another bird, but everyone was in safe places by then so he left.
He came back later when I was inside, but I didn’t see if he caught anything, but likely he did. They seldom miss. I hope he doesn’t stay around long, they usually just pass through during the migration. They are bird hawks, that is, their prey is birds and they can literally kill off every bird in their territory during a breeding season. Even my two crows disappear when he comes around. They are about the same size but a Cooper’s hawk will take a crow if he’s hungry enough. The day before I heard a horrible screech from one of my gulls who had been sitting on a tall hydro pole out here. They like that pole, it’s easy to survey the area from that height. But two bald eagles showed up just above the trees and they will gladly take a gull that is sitting down.
Gulls in the air are quite safe, they can out maneuver an eagle. I guess the eagles surprised him and he took to the air quickly and when he screeched several other gulls appeared to help chase the eagles, as did 4 crows. Crows and gulls don’t like each other, but when there is a common enemy they will work together. The eagles didn’t stay long. I finally got to see my first dandelion of this year yesterday! So many people hate those flowers, but they are so bright and cheerful looking especially after months of cold weather. So, while others start screaming over the sight of the first dandelion of the year, I will enjoy it’s bold, bright and cheery yellow. And it’s one of those plants that you can eat the whole thing, from the roots to the flower. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2021 Steve McLeod.