Monday, May 15, 2006

Beware the badgering Mama Bird!

First she squawked at me from above. Every step I took was shadowed by her hopping among the branches, maintaining a position directly above my head. The longer I walked through the yard, the louder, more persistant and more rapid were her noises.

I glanced up and saw a certain, determined, hate-filled stare coming from the black Mama Bird.

This was Saturday afternoon and Mama Bird was guarding a fledgling baby who was on the ground, hiding in the garden, testing out its wings and trying to fly.

I was washing the porch furniture, taking off the winter's layer of dust that was thick enough to show cat's paw prints. Silently a neighborhood pup had slipped up behind me. I think it was at least part shar-pei, but it was not terribly wrinkly. My instincts told me his persistence was probably a result of the baby bird being nearby. I hadn't seen the baby bird but knew Mama Bird's noise indicated he was nearby.

Several times I shooed the dog away, finally having to clap my hands to get the attention of the man across the street. Apparently he was the dog's owner and called him home.

So I started investigating to see if I could tell where the baby was. This one seems to have a knack for getting tangled in my rose bush, which seems like it would be very painful. Finally I located him when he flopped his wings.

I caught an unflattering shot of him finally on the porch. He's right there at the corner behind the hose.

Today it has been quiet outside when I've opened the door. No flapping. No Mama Bird noise. I hope this means baby has gotten the knack of it and has flown away from my front door.

Unfortunately, as I was going out for a few minutes this evening, I spotted another bird in the yard, dead. It was one of the neighborhood doves. It was positioned as though it had flown beak-first into the ground, kind of like it was pecking for worms. I don't know what happened and I was too creeped out to go look at it very closely.

My yard is a dangerous place for birds, it seems.


jeannie diane said...

Poor birds! I live in the back
woods. I had the unfortunate
discovery. Our chocolate lab
had one of the fox pups. It was
almost dead. I pulled the dog off
and put her up in the pen. By the
time I could get back the pup was
dead. I could hear the momma barking. I left it there, she
came and got it during the night.

On Saturday coming up or drive.
We saw said momma in the road
playing with another pup. They
scampered off before I could get
close enough for a good picture.

When we got closer we could see
all of them dive for there den.
We counted 5 I think. They are
so cute.

Has any one ever heard a fox
bark? It is very different. When
we first heard it I just knew that
something very bad was about to
come outta the woods after us.

My husband swears he saw bear
tracks by the house. I really
think it was the neighbor huge

Trixie said...

Jeannie Diane, I am so glad to see you! I check your blog every day waiting to see something new posted. I hope you're doing OK. The fox story is great. It would be nice to be out far enough from the city to see some real-life nature like that. Here I am all icked out about a dead bird in my yard. I keep hoping the roaming cats will take it away during the night so I don't have to see it out there. It would take me all of two seconds to put it in the trash but nooooo that means I'd have to LOOK at it! LOL!

Trixie said...

I don't understand Blogger. Sometimes comments don't show up!

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

I have three pairs of birds that feed in my yard daily. They return each year and I look forward to seeing them. One is a pair of blue-birds--some of the largest I've ever seen. They drive our black and tan crazy (sometimes I think the squirrels recruit them for the job). Beautiful birds.

A pair of blue-jays feed twice daily. Every morning I see them out of my bedroom window while tuning in to "Washington Journal". I've taken a few pictures of them. They have to be the healthiest jays I've ever seen--fat as little pigs,coats a brilliant blue, crests appearing almost groomed!

Each evening, a fine pair of mocking-birds flash their white-striped wings from bush to tree to the seed-laden, worm-ridden lawn reaping their harvest for the day. They're a joy to watch and knowing they'll be there the next day is somehow comforting.

I'll miss them when they're gone after the season.

drlobojo said...

A Bird Story:
One of the things about being retired is having time to spend in the back yard. Granted I have four cats, but only one of them is a real hunter (and she prefers squirrels) so the birds in my yard are basically safe. In my back yard I have two bird baths, lots of bushes and big trees, so it attracts a lot of birds. Three types of wood peckers, robins, blue jays which dive bomb the cats all the time, cardinals, two types of wrens (have you ever had a house wren sound off close to your ear? You would swear they were three feet tall by the sound of them), Hawks of at least two varieties, crows, chickadees, green humingbirds, sparrows of course and grackles....
But last week I saw the bird of birds while laying in my back yard hammock and looking up at the sky.
It is not unusual to have hawks, pelicans, seagulls, night hawks or egretes, fly over, but I watched this large bird in the distance as it came towards me. I realized it was an eagle. It was about 200 feet up. Then as it got closer, I could clearly see that it was a bald eagle flying North. Sadly it was alone.
I live smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma City, there's city for 30 miles in every direction, and I watched a bald eagle fly over my home.

Trixie said...

Drlobojo, I think geographically we're fairly near one another. I would think I was in heaven if I saw a bald eagle here. The closest I've seen them is out at Lake Arcadia.

I love the robins, cardinals, blue jays and even the humble sparrows. The grackles I like only because I get to see them raise their families here. I'm mightly saddened about the poor dove that creeps me out (yes, I'll have to put on my big girl pants and deal with it...)

House wrens: When I was getting my mom's house ready to sell after her death, a male house wren made its way into the house while I had the patio door open. Oh man! I had never seen one up close and personal like that. He was tenacious as well as vocal. It took a while to get him back out.

I think I need to get a bird bath this year for my back yard. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so lazy when it comes to grooming the yard and providing for the birds. But the squirrels love me!

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

I live near White River in North-Central Arkansas. I try to make at least one eagle-sighting trip every year as many Bald "Eagles winter along the river--we have many that stay all year round. I've seen dozens over the last several years.

I didn't get to see any this year. It was disappointing. But, God willing, there's always next year.

Drlobo, you were the recipient of a special treat!

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "First she squawked at me from above."

This sound slike my Bird. She squawks down from sophomoric heights.

Oh, man. I just realized she's a junior now!

Trixie said...

Beware the Mama Bird -- she's the one that will peck you on the head!!

Genevieve said...

Here, the most protective birds I've seen are the mockingbirds. They abhor cats and will divebomb them any time, not just when they have a nest.

Last week, I saw a mourning dove several times on our lane. She (or he) was on the ground in the same place each time. After reading your post, I realized that she (or he) was probably babysitting a baby on the ground.

jeannie diane said...

Hey, Trixie I was thinking about
some thing. If the dead bird in
your yard did not have any marks
to show what killed it. You may
need to call the health dept.
My friends son ended up with
insefilitus (i know that is not
correct spelling) brain infection
from a dead bird.
I can not think of the name of it
but the mositoes carry it. I am
having an early senior moment.

Don't let the cats eat it.

TECH said...

I don't have any bird stories. I was trying to think of one, but other than that time with the nun, the mule and the parrot, I have nothing. Sigh.

Cats have decimated the songbird population in the United States. Our pets are mighty hunters. The birds, however, are rebounding in areas, helped by an unlikely ally -- the coyote. As the coyote increases its range, it has discovered a new food source in our pets. Cats and small dogs are at risk in any neighborhood where the coyote has made a home.

drlobojo said...

One of the un-for-seen consquences of urbaniztion and the de-population of the rural areas is the return of wild life. In Oklahoma the coyote is a prime preditor in cities, towns, and country side and always has been.
If your cats can't climb (fast) and your dog isn't of a good size they will feast on them. But without a house ever quarter section of land and a farmer in the house with a gun, the coyote has been able to reclaim the priaries.
We now have puma coming down from Colorado, and Tigres coming up from Mexico. Black Bears are coming back over from Arkansas as well. And Beaver are now all over the State, even to the point of messing up some of the new city lakes in Oklahoma City.
Bobcats are not uncommon , and opposums and racoons have left their footprints in my yard, and yes Bald Eagles flying over the City.
Nature has a way of "willing out" as they say.

Trixie said...

You guys should go read Genevieve's blog, if you haven't, to read her report about wildlife in her area.

I have seen possums on my block, which was a bit startling one night. I'm still too skeeved to go look at the bird. Sometimes I think I'd be much better off living in a condo somewhere. But hey, the house is paid for.

Genevieve said...


I read an article about Europe earlier this year (no longer available at its source for free) that said exactly what you're talking about -- the wildlife are moving in where people have left. Here is an excerpt that I had saved from the article.

As people move out of rural Europe, seeking work in cities, wild animals are moving in.

Wild boar are already ransacking dustbins on the outskirts of Berlin and bears are startling schoolgirls in Austria...

Poor but rapidly changing countries like Romania and Bulgaria are undergoing a quiet social revolution. And, in its wake, comes the wildlife...

The article mentions the return of bears, wolves, osprey, and wildcats to depopulated areas of rural Europe.

FrenziedFeline said...

Hi, Trixie!

I really miss the umbrella trees from our old house. The birds loved those trees.

Check in later! :)