Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Mantle Passes

Mr. Big  has been known as the BirdSlayer since he arrived Nov. 8, 2001. Despite his huskiness and slower gait (he'd never have made it as a sled dog; he only has one gear: go), he was so good in his prime, he could snatch birds out of mid-air. He once caught a Cooper's hawk; admittedly, a juvenile, but a hawk nonetheless.

Pipsqueak appears to have inherited the title. Although she's only been here 6 months, she has already caught 3 birds (all northern mockingbirds, if you want to know). The last was yesterday. She raced past me into the house and into my bedroom and I, fearing the worse, followed to see her enjoying her post-breakfast triumph right next to my bed.  Where I sleep.


And they say housecats let out for a day of roaming are decimating our songbird population. Be that as it may, in my immediate neck of the woods, woe betide any mockingbird silly enough to nest in my grapefruit tree. I've probably lost about 5 or 6 to my dogs and at least 3 babies I can think of to the Cooper's hawks. It may be pretty and smell nice, but if you're a bird, it's the Tree of Doom.

A very young mourning dove has built herself a nest on the precarious edge of my Tombstone rosebush, on the patio. Every time I open my back door, and that's probably a dozen times a day, at least, she flies off in a huge panic. I knocked what I thought was an empty nest out from under my eaves on Saturday which in actuality had 2 eggs in it. I felt absolutely horrible when I saw their smashed goo. So I'm letting this little mother stay put, and I hope she doesn't get caught by BirdSlayer the younger, or I may find myself hatching her solitary baby egg out of guilt.

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