[Tweeters] Early Band-tailed Pigeon

mary hrudkaj mch1096 at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 24 08:15:32 PST 2016

While sitting by the window at my computer just now I saw a familiar silhouette up in a bare poplar. A very early Band-tailed pigeon is here already. Guess the early bird gets the seed. From the paler yellow of the beak I'd guess it's a first year bird. It hasn't turned its back to me so I can't see how defined the neck band is.

Seems every year 1-4 band-tailed pigeons show up, perhaps the early vanguard checking out to see if the Lady of the Seed still lives here. In a few days more and more will show up. How they communicate to the rest of the flock to let them know the Lady of the Seed is still around is a mystery. One I'm sure the government would like to know. Long range communication, no encryption necessary, on a frequency still unknown to human ear....

Spring is definitely making itself known out here. Again this morning Mountain Quail could be heard calling from the Tahuya River valley. A pair did a quick run through the yard as the sharp-shinned hawk flew through on Monday.

That hawk chased down a towhee that had run into a semi-fenced flower bed. The fencing on the backside of the bed goes to the ground to protect a fuschia shrub from deer browse. The hawk flew toward where the towhee was running to and made a grab for it catching the towhee by the head. Unfortunately for the hawk the towhee was on the other side of the fence and, tug as it might, the hawk just couldn't get the towhee through the chicken wire. The towhee wasn't badly injured so I decided to end the futile efforts of the hawk. I went out and as I approached the hawk released the towhee and stood a couple feet away to see if I would take its prey. I picked up the towhee and when I released it it fluttered off into a broom bush. The hawk didn't go after it and I did not turn back as I walked back to the house.

The quail are not yet making regular visits to the yard yet. I will let Tweeter folk know if/when the quail become more regular. I'm having knee surgery in a few weeks so will not be available for visits for a while.

Spring is here - keep the eyes and ears open.

Mary Hrudkaj


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