View Full Version : A fine Kettle of ...

September 24th, 2015, 04:54 PM
This morning was a perfect day for soaring and the Swainson's Hawks were taking full advantage of it. Three Kettles came right over my house, the first several hundred strong and the next two only slightly less. The whole passage took nearly a half hour as they soared, wings barely moving, dipping swiftly then rising on the currents until they were just dots in the sky.

These were all migrants, likely illegal aliens that came up from Argentina in the past to harvest our crops of locus and caterpillars and grasshoppers and now heading back to Argentina for the winter and breeding. In Spring they will return but not is the massive Kettles seen during the Fall. Some will stay here and we do see some year around.

Later today we were coming home from breakfast when I saw Toby, the Dapple miniature Doxie that lives behind me out wandering and so gathered him up and took him home. His owner just got out of surgery and cannot get around easily much less chase Toby. She thanked me for bringing him back but said she had something she wanted to show me. It turned out to be a Ruby Throated Hummer that had flown into her window. She had rescued it and been carrying it around until she put it in a plastic cup in the window. She was worried about it, thought it was a baby and was trying to keep it warm by carrying it.

Hummers though need to eat almost constantly and she had been "nursing it" for hours; it was so weak it was almost comatose. Hummers have a self preservation tactic to get through the nights where they pretty much shut down, not quite hibernation but close. So I took the little guy, made up a bowl of heavy sugar water, found a stick to make a perch and put him on it. I placed it all in the sun but on a wall so not too tempting for other critters. When I went back about an hour later there was no sign of the little guy so I think all worked out.

He was cute though.

Busy day.

September 24th, 2015, 08:31 PM
...neat story - thanks for telling; sometimes I might tell ya about Edgar the grackle...

September 25th, 2015, 09:10 AM
Not ten minutes after I posted that the parakeets stopped in my Oaks as they planned the evenings activities. Usually they gather at the bookstore so this may have just been a few dozen friends making individual assignations. I could not get a picture of them in the Oaks but here is one on the tree one house down.