Dedication to Duty

Top Photo: Cooper’s hawk soaring over wetlands.

Unlike insects, birds don’t necessarily thrive in the heat. Many birds take a break from the midday heat to rest in the shade, at times with their bills agape, panting from the heat. Unfortunately, at this time of year many birds have no choice but to be active – they have young on the nest or recently fledged young to attend to. The adults have to feed those young birds, and it’s a non-stop occupation.

The Museum’s nesting Cooper’s Hawks are busily hunting and feeding their young. You can occasionally see one or both of the adults soaring over the Wetlands, or over the bird feeders in Catch the Wind. On one occasion I saw the male frantically flapping towards the nest area with what looked to be a Mourning Dove in its talons and carrying another unidentified bird later the same day – with several irate, smaller songbirds in hot pursuit.

gd_6_1bggnI saw a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers feeding their fledgling. Frenetic from the start, these tiny little bundles of energy were rapid-fire feeding insect after insect to the whining, begging youngster – bill wide open and wings flapping at its sides.

On June 12th I saw two Green Herons flying out of the Wetlands on a northeast heading. Later, I saw two more. Still later, a single bird hiked it up and over the trees to the northeast. Were they different birds? The same birds making several trips to and from the Wetlands? Don’t know for sure. No matter, it seems these birds have discovered the “stew” in the Wetlands.

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