Sunday, April 7, 2013

Morning report

I got up a bit later than usual this morning and the birds had already come and gone, without breakfast. However Maggie, the 7 O'clock magpie, the Bird Park Prima Bella, showed up soon after I put out this morning's fare, peanuts, kibbles, mashed potatoes and remnants of a crunchy cookie. She went to the cookie first, not because it was a cookie but because it was something different, something she hadn't seen before. Such a wonderful trait, her curiosity. It is a mark of her intelligence. At this point a few others have shown up. Oh oh! Here comes the hawk!

after the hawk attack, lonely little quail dude
Louie the lonely quail dude.
Quail mate for life so this guy is bereft
after the hawk recently ate his companion..
OK. Where was I before Ms. Fancy Pants showed up? Damn. I scared the shit out of the quail chasing her off. Poor guys. They were walking around nibbling seed, totally unaware Ms. Death had arrived. I ran at her but she just stared me me down. I had to grow and wave my arms even to get her to move down the fence, quail blasting out from under the trees in every direction, wings revved up like jet engines. The quail were in utter chaos. Ms. Fancy Pants finally took off but not without a quick pass at the fleeing covey, swooping low over the ground, me in hot pursuit, quail screaming. She didn't get anybody. This time.

Ms. Fancy Pants with that
"You're next, buddy" look in her eye,
quail parts dangling from her beak.
- photo by Kristiana

Yes, yes. I'm choosing sides. Interfering with nature. GASP! I deprived the hawk of her breakfast. Too bad. When Kristy and Thea were here, we watched her eat a quail and ever since then a lonely quail dude wanders the Bird Park outcast and alone. So enough is enough. The thing is, the Bird Park is not a natural environment. It doesn't have amount the kind of ground cover quail need to have a fighting chance so I am stepping in. Not on my watch, buddy. The hawks have a lot of territory. At least while I'm here, it doesn't have to include the Bird Park.We'll only be here another two weeks then we leave for the rest of year. Things will settle down around here on their own after that.

God. I've got to get back to my list making and anxiety attack.


Roy said...

Don't apologize. You are a force of nature, and have just as much right on the planet to exert your will as does Ms FP.

asha said...

Thanks. I'll quote you when the Ms. FP's pals get on my case.

Jon Crestwood said...

According to the butterfly effect, when the planet unravels in ten years, we'll know who to blame.

Roy said...

I've been playing around with my new Photoshop program off and on most of the day today, so when I get another look at the picture you took of Lonely Quail Dude, I think, his coloration is perfect camouflage. SO I played with the hues, and the saturation and the intensities, and I can't do anything to make him stand out against the leaves and branches. But, I guess while our little friends were making their feathers more branch colored, the hawks were making their eyeballs better--or at least that part of their brain that sorts of movements. Such a delicate dance of survival and balance. But then, as Jon points out, along YOU come, and well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens . . .

asha said...

The good news is that under this particular lilac bush the quail are pretty safe. I don't want to jinx them, but I don't think the hawk can snatch anyone out from under it. THEY LOVE THIS BUSH. It is their favorite hangout in the entire Bird Park. Lucky for me it is right outside the kitchen window so I get to see them there a lot. As for the hawk, I haven't seen her since I last chased her off. Of course, I don't take credit for that. Calving season is about over so many of the big predators are leaving now. I'm hoping she's among them.