Yesterday I shared how three different types of warblers showed up in our backyard, which is not typical. It turns out that the day I saw them there was a huge migration during the previous night. Millions of birds flew across our county (per the website birdcast.info) – lots of people reported seeing warblers and other migrants throughout the day. In fact they said it was one of the biggest migration days in 40 years (and we decided to stay home that morning because it was overcast!).
Of course there were other birds in our backyard besides migrants. A male House Finch showed up to check out the warblers.
We had taken down our feeders to wash them so the poles made good roosts for the birds. An immature Northern Cardinal was resting atop one of the poles when a House Sparrow took exception and dive-bombed the Cardinal. It first did a fly-by and then actually landed on top of the Sparrow in an attempt to roust it from its roost. The Cardinal stayed put until the sparrow gave up.
All of a sudden the ten House Sparrows feeding on the ground took off, then all the other birds scattered in different directions. A second later the cause of their quick departure appeared – a Cooper’s Hawk! It landed in the tree at the back of my backyard and looked for any stragglers that didn’t get the message to hide.
The Cooper’s Hawk had spotted the White-throated Sparrows beneath the bushes so it jumped down from the tree and scanned the ground for its next meal. Not seeing any potential prey it flew off to someone else’s backyard in search of lunch.
I was happy to see all the various birds and their antics in my backyard. I had to tell myself to be patient – wait for more birds to appear and sure enough they did!
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