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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

For the Birds!

So, I was opening the gate yesterday around lunch time and I almost hit a bird on the head with the bottom of the gate. The bird (which I recognized as a "Chuck Will's Widow") appeared to be wounded. I followed it a little and it once again took a short flight just above the ground. Finally, it flew a further distance. [Apparently, they are nocturnal so I'm sure she was woken in a sleep induced stupor.] Today, it happened again when I went to close the gate as I was leaving for "swim lessons." I think I startled her as much as she startled me or vice-a-versa. Anyhow, at that point I almost stepped right into/on her little nest of two small little eggs! Apparently? Birds seem to love nesting around our place. And, once again? The nest is on the caliche right off the side of our asphalt drive. AND, right in the death path of our gate. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now, this is not my first encounter with one of these guys. Last year, I returned home from dropping the kids at school and was [again] startled by a fairly large sized bird that had become trapped in our screened porch. I immediately called the local wild habitat around here for suggestions (I thought the bird was a Hawk). The lady instructed me to approach the bird and look for "tallons" [claws]. Upon doing so the bird let out a little sound and it's face SPLIT IN HALF! It looked like a scene out of aliens or something! Scared the living BLEEP out of me!!! Hearing my alarm, "It's FACE SPLIT OPEN!!!!" The lady informed me about the bird and instructed me to grab it and release it (right, it's face splits open and my whole hand could fit in there....I don't think so.) I got someone from the farm to do it. The bird let his wings dry (damp from the dew on the screen) and then took off. But, not before I was able to click this great pic of his face split open. Unfortunately, I printed it but did not save it.....(doesn't do me much good here). So, I don't know what these guys are doing around here as the internet says: "It is found in the southeastern United States near swamps, rocky uplands, and pine woods." Anyhow....I hope this Little Gal gets to hatch her eggs: Above is a close up (I cropped it in pretty tight). Click it and zoom for a better look. You can't see her straight out here, but if you click this picture and view full size and/or zoom in tighter -- you will find that she is about a foot and 1/2 from the gate. I couldn't open the gate completely without distrubing and threatening her. Here's one more view. I'll try and get a pic of her little eggs. I will end with the fact that these birds eat primarily bugs and insects: they fly through the air with their [face split open] mouths open and catch the bugs through the air -- kinda' like a whale does in the ocean. But....I have also read that on occassion....they will eat a whole small bird!!! YIPES!!! What about my baby Killdeers that hatched recently!!!! (three of the four egg was abandoned so I let Farmer Jr. keep it). With that, Happy Tuesday (and I didn't post my WWC....Cynical Bastard played the same play! Smart minds think alike!)


gary rith said...

Oh my goodness, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and a bird that eats bugs like a whale! My best pal!

Krishna said...

Nice, interesting, and such. but more importantly, did ya get rain?

Farmer*swife said...

no rain. It's black and grey all around us...but no rain for our cotton around our Kingdom....