Showing posts with label bird. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bird. Show all posts

February 11, 2014

A Red Fox with a Missing Tail

While watching birds out the bedroom window yesterday I saw this fox go by. Obviously something has sheared off part of its tail — a pursuing predator?

It walked to each of the sunflower feeders and checked for fallen seeds, then circled around the house and climbed the hill up into the trees.

The same fox.
I thought it seemed a little stiff in the hips, but was I projecting that, still thinking of the loss last month of Shelby, our arthritic old dog?

We watched it from the kitchen, and M. said something about the hard lives of wild animals.

I wonder if we will see it again.

May 15, 2013

The Hummingbird Scale of Badass-ery

Black-chinned hummingbirds (National Park Service)
I snicker a little every time that I see a stained-glass "sun catcher" with a hummingbird image, or anything like that.

Is there anything more vicious than a hummingbird? They live in bird Valhalla — they would rather fight than eat.

Right now, our hummingbird feeders attract two species: broad-tailed and black-chinned. (And very rarely a calliope, but I am not considering them here.)

Movie poster (Wikipedia).
Yes, we feed them,  and in return we have a continuous showing of The Dawn Patrol on the veranda — heavy drinking followed by aerial combat.

This website collects references to hummingbirds in various American Indian mythologies (without sources or context), but I am going with the Aztecs: they are reincarnated warriors.

The black-chinned hummingbirds seem to have a slim advantage over the broad-tailed hummers in airborne bluff and intimidation, but the real nasties are the rufous hummingbirds, who show up mid-summer on their southbound migration. They are "the feistiest," according to Cornell University's All About Birds website.

They rule the skies for a couple of weeks and then, mercifully, are gone.