[Tweeters] Innocence

Rob Sandelin nwnature1 at gmail.com
Sat May 23 17:29:29 PDT 2015

Had a delightful encounter with three newly fledged Pacific (winter) wrens
in my backyard woods today. I was sitting on the ground watching a bumblebee
nest when the youngsters came upon me. One by one they each flew up to a
branch to get a better look at this new thing in their world. I was as still
as I could be as they flew up and was not surprised when one landed on my
arm. A second bird landed on my head while the third bird carefully watched
from a distance. When the one on top my head started pulling on my hair I
flinched and all three instantly ditched into the ferns. But they did not
stay down long and within a minute they were bobbing around again, popping
up every now and then to keep an eye on me. I noticed that whenever they
separated they all gave a constant series of barely audible chip calls which
I doubt I would have heard had I not been right at their level.

At one point a moth was disturbed and as it flew all heck broke loose. All
three birds went after it and like a three stooges movie, they all three
collided and crashed to the ground. There was a bit of scrum on the ground
and then one broke loose of the fray to fly after the moth. The newly minted
bird did not have good wing control and when the moth zigged one way, it
crashed into a fern clump so hard that it got momentarily stuck. It took it
the better part of a minute to wriggle free and by that time the moth was
back hidden on a tree trunk..

Meanwhile one of the other two had captured what looked like a crane fly.
It's sibling attacked and the two beak dueled with the result that most the
crane fly apparently got shredded. At this point all three flew up and
perched on sticks protruding from the ferns as an adult bird with the beak
full of goodies started chipping. They all abandoned the playground for
lunch and drifted out of my view and I went back to watching bumblebees.

Rob Sandelin

Naturalist, Writer, Mostly retired teacher

Snohomish County.

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