A Bump in the Road

The sun has finally broken through the clouds in my area.  Unfortunately, the sun is not the only thing that has decided to do it’s share of breaking!  My computer, from which I do most of my work and writing, has decided to go belly up.   Thankfully, I’ve had time to back-up all my documents, writing and photography both.  I wanted to just post a quick note to let everyone know that I’ll be back just as soon as I can get things sorted out and back into action.  I will still try to post some writing but the pretty pictures will have to be on hold.

With that said, some moments of nature!

I’ve had a couple really excellent afternoon trips to my local lunchtime birding spot.  Yesterday, with the sun shining brightly and winter wind blowing, I watched a large flock of robins which had descended on a particular sumac tree.  The last time I had seen robins matter of fact was the last time we had seen bright sunshine.   The two I am sure go hand in hand.  After my earlier encounter with robins and waxwings eating crab-apples I was able to learn the cold temperatures actually begin a fermentation process in the berries and that waxwings have been known to get, well, drunk on them.  I contemplated if the same thing goes for sumac berries?

As I wandered to the car got to see yet another new bird to my lifelist, a rose breasted nuthatch.  I have pictures but, unfortunately, I have no way to get them uploaded just yet.  I’ll get them up as soon as I can.

Today, the robins were still there and had been joined by a large flock of starlings and a northern flicker.  As I went to leave, I surprised a male cardinal who immediately went into making alarm calls.  It was my turn to be surprised when out of nowhere two crows came cawing and swooping in the tree next to the cardinal.  Both birds began eyeballing me and then the  cardinal as if they were trying to get a read on the situation.   Knowing that crows love to torment and chase off predators, do crows regularly patrol areas, like security guards, and respond to alarm calls from smaller birds?  They certainly rushed in when the cardinal went off.    I’ll have to start looking at crows a bit differently if that is the case.  The next question is do the smaller birds listen for the crow calls as a system of listening for predator threats?

Something to think about and I’m sure someone with a bit more experience would know the answers.  If you’re reading this, chime up!  I’d love to know.

I’ll be back just as soon as I can.

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Posted on January 28, 2010, in Birding, Nature, Perspective. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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