[Tweeters] 4th of July at a Merlin Site in Seattle 7/4/15

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sun Jul 5 01:58:14 PDT 2015

Not as wild as year one, 2008, when Spike (the same female parent as this year's) took on hundreds of crows to force them to stay clear of the nest tree as they flew to roost - that year, Spike and her mate, Thor, had gotten a later start than in successive years, and the nestlings hadn't fledged by the 4th. This year, in keeping with the early oncoming of warm weather here in the NW, these Merlins, too, were early, although, after year one for them, they have fairly regularly nested earlier than other pairs in the Seattle area. Fledging occurred about a week ago - the fledglings are now well on their way to adolescence - only a tetch of down still clings to one or two of these youngsters, mainly on the top of the head. They sure do grow up fast... :-)

8-9 p.m. events last night in Pinehurst with Spike and Thor's latest fledged brood of Merlins:

Prey was delivered to calling fledglings, one of whom would 'score' the prize and fly with it to a branch on another tree and proceed to eat it (took about 5 min.) Those who didn't get a 'Last Supper' of the evening, chased each other, flew to some lower places in the territory to explore, and and occasionally went to the western edge of the territory and called out, hoping a parent would fly in before the sun sank to a certain low, indicating roost time - the unlucky ones will have to wait until dawn for fresh food...

Tonight, only a few young flickers and crows shared the area with the Merlins - no Steller's Jays tonight - 3 nights ago, there was a bevy of them. When the Merlin feeding sessions subsided, a Band-tailed Pigeon came in to where the 'pigeonhawks' had earlier been active, and posed briefly in the golden sun.

No fireworks visibly disrupted tonight's Merlin activity. Of course the Fourth concerts/noise had only just begun to boom and crackle by the time I left Pinehurst at 9 p.m.

My Flickr photo album of this "Fourth" can be viewed through this link:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskeX7SrQ : "Brood of 4 (?) on the Fourth" - 7/4/15

It was a 'cool' night there in Pinehurst. Really...

Barb Deihl
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net
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