[Tweeters] On Your Tail!

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sat Mar 8 12:24:50 PST 2014

This is an alert to birds in the Port Townsend area.

Hey birds, have you ever had that feeling your'e being followed? I'm sure many of you have, and looking back over your wings, might not be surprised to find a Red-wing Blackbird on your tail as you fly over " their" cattails, or maybe one of those hyper sugar junkies, the Anna's Hummingbird, giving you the whatfor as you fly through "their" yard. Here, in my parents PT yard, there's another tailgater in town - the dreaded Dark-eyed Junco.

That's right birds, Junco's. Quite a few times this last week, I saw Juncos close on the tail of the much larger Common Flicker - both birds are common around here. "Jeez" I thought, "maybe those Junco's are having some sorta hormone issues, it being spring and all". Starting a territory? Beak envy? Whatever, those Juncos were all over those Flickers, and also Towhee's and Golden-crowned Sparrows.

Yesterday I watched an imm. Glaucous-winged Gull soaring over from a few houses away, and noticed a small bird tailing it, and as they both flew over, I realized the small bird was another Junco. Seemed like kinda risky behavior, being way up in the open air like that - there are Merlins and Coopers around. That makes me wonder if it may not be a testosterone issue, that well known male hormone that makes animals, (including Humans) do dumb things sometimes. I know both male and female humans can run testosterone, but only assume birds of both sexes do. Hey, I aint no ornithologist.

So birds, keep an eye out!

Jeff Gibson

currently camped out in

Port Townsend Wa

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