14 May 2006
Changing of the guard
In 2004, the pecking order was pretty clear: the blue jays owned the back yard, patrolling from two nests, and woe betide any other creature which dared to trespass. (I once saw them escort a squirrel off the premises, and not gently, either.)
Last year, the jays abandoned their nests but kept close by; the robins saw this as an opportunity, and one day the robins and the jays held a face-off over by the gas meter. The jays, to my surprise, backed down.
This year nobody rules the turf. The front yard, of late, has been a veritable PigeonFest; pigeons being sort of phlegmatic, all manner of other birds have been stopping by for brief visits, knowing they will meet with token resistance only. And squirrels, even the occasional roaming cat, wander onto the premises with no fear of reprisal. Out back, with no dominant birds, the variety is seemingly greater; this past week has been filled with some form of flycatcher. (It's not the scissor-tailed; this one has a somewhat-truncated tail, by comparison, and lacks the reddish front.) The serious singers are usually at it around sunrise, but I don't get up on weekends until seven, and by seven I mean eight-thirty.