Monday, May 19, 2008

Bird behavior

From my window, I can see a white-winged dove, circling the green ceramic bird bath by the oaks. The dove sat a moment, circled some more, then leaned down to take a sip. Unlike most birds, white wings don't have to tilt their head back to swallow. They can drink through their bill like a straw.

Actually, a blue jay arrived first. It was about to indulge in some water when the white wing plowed in. The blue jay fluttered to one of the oaks, then jumped back on the bird bath. Amazingly, the two shared space for a few fleeting moments.

White wings brow beat most of the other birds that visit our yard. But then the grackles come along and push them aside. At first, we appreciated having the grackles around to help eat the tent caterpillars and other pests. Now we're ready for them to move on. They make a huge mess at our bird baths and splash out much of the water.

Awhile ago, I stood in our driveway and watched our neighborhood raven getting chased and smacked in midair by three grackles. Sometimes mockingbirds and blue jays go after him, too. It's rough being a raven, from what I can tell.

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