Drama in the Bird World: May 2021

I noticed considerable activity in a far away tree as I walked about near Lake Ontario in Scarborough.

Northern Flicker and European Starling

Flickers seem to prefer to be left alone but a cheeky Starling landed right next to one.

Northern Flicker and European Starling

The Flicker didn’t appreciate this:

Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker and European Starling

Perhaps the Flicker has a nest nearby with eggs and the Starling wants to grab one.

Northern Flicker and European Starling
Northern Flicker and European Starling
Northern Flicker and European Starling

MYSTERY BIRD

I will identify it at the end of the post.

A Warbling Vireo was doing its best to impress a nearby female.

Warbling Vireos

Posing slyly:

Warbling Vireo

Playing hide and seek:

Warbling Vireo

Leaping:

Warbling Vireo

Showing off tail feathers:

Warbling Vireo

Warbling at top volume:

Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo

and gracefully taking off:

Warbling Vireo

Is that a smile on her face?

Warbling Vireo

Some Red-winged Blackbirds had a unwanted guest:

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

Eventually the Red-wings were able to chase it away. No doubt that they are protecting a nearby nest.

Red-tailed Hawk

Even though I was far from these Red-breasted Mergansers, they took off in a hurry when they spotted me:

Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Merganser (female)
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers

Other birds:

Gray Catbird
Common Raven
American Robin
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Goldfinch (male)
American Goldfinch (male)
Song Sparrow
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler
American Goldfinch (male)
Black-capped Chickadee
Mourning Dove
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Cardinal (female)
Brown Thrasher
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Brown-headed Cowbirds

MYSTERY BIRD

The yellow below, olive-green back and white eye ring make this a Nashville Warbler.

Nashville Warbler

MAILBAG

Something to be mindful of!

Ontario hikers are seeing more ticks this spring and Lyme disease reports are on the rise (blogto.com)

NATURE POETRY

Spring
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring—
        When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
        Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
        The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
        The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
        A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
        Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
        Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Miles Hearn

5 thoughts on “Drama in the Bird World: May 2021

  1. Mary

    I like that you’re adding a mystery bird to your posts.. Also great your mystery birds are local and here in Toronto or recent arrivals. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. rosemarie fischer

    wonderful pictures again,so many varieties and colours…..it’s like an Action Movie……..I have never seen some of those birds,it’s like they are “posing” for you…..thank you Miles…..

    Reply
  3. Lisa Volkov

    Wow! What wonderful action!
    I have to admit that when I read the title, I had my “heart in my mouth”, bracing myself for something gruesome, for which I felt I was being “prepared”.
    Well, I didn’t know Starlings went for Flicker eggs. Otherwise, not graphically bloody, even if the Red-tailed Hawk was probably bloody-minded. But hey–it’s a hawk! And it’s gotta eat! They all gotta eat!
    And try to protect their young.
    This was great! Fantastic pictures! Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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