I think the squirrel issue is finally taken care of. We relocated five squirrels, replaced the chewed up window screen and Non Birding Bill trimmed some of the branches on the catalpa tree outside the window. The branches are still less than ten feet from the window ledge so I'm sure the squirrels can still jump over, but as long as they don't chew any more holes in the window screen, I'm okay with squirrels on the window ledge. I'm happy to report that we have been squirrel free for the last twenty-four hours in our humble abode. Normal birding activity has resumed and I even had a visit from Zippy the Pinhead (a completely bald cardinal pictured above with a male house finch).
Incidentally, the jury is apparently still out on the cause of complete baldness in cardinals this time of year. It was thought to be molting if a bald cardinal is seen in August or September but some researchers feel that a bird should never be completely bald and that species specific head mites are also to blame. You can read more at Hilton Pond. Be sure to read the post scripts at the bottom of the article.
Cinnamon is more disapproving than ever. She had a vet check up today that was filled with untold bunny humiliation as well as good and bad news. The good news is that she is that her cut is healing nicely. The bad news is that there is still an infection risk and she is to be on antibiotics for another ten days and can't come back to the bird store for another few days. Poor bunny, she is not happy taking medication and so much of it gets on her dew flap that I think most of it spills there and she spends ten minutes afterwards cleaning it off her fur (pictured, above). At least she's getting the meds. To top it off, the vet pealed away the scab to make sure everything was okay and shaved away more fur. So now the cut is all gooey again. The vet had a good reason for doing it, but my sweet little bunny looks like an alien baby should be squirming out of it any second. I'm kind of happy that she can't go back to work right. Even after she gets the all clear from the vet to return to work, she is going to look weird back there with a big scabby line on her haunch. Maybe we can try to comb it over.
This morning I was taking an exercise walk around Lake of the Isles. I really want to get a work out so take my iPod so I won't get distracted by bird calls. Alas, I got distracted today anyway. I was passing one of the islands on the lake when I noticed what looked like an accipiter flying just above the water in pursuit of a bird and then double back to the island. I turned off David Bowie and walked to the water's edge. A small bird took off from a perch--a kingfisher, in hot pursuit was an immature Cooper's hawk. The kingfisher quickly out flew the hawk and dove for a fish. The hawk circled back to the island and the kingfisher returned to its perch empty billed. Again, the kingfisher flew from its perch and again the Coops flew after it. The kingfisher flew too fast for the Coops and went right for a fish. The Coops headed back to the island and soon the kingfisher followed, this time with a small fish. After another minute the hawk flew from its perch straight for the kingfisher who darted out of the way in plenty of time for the Coops to pass. I don't know how many times the hawk had been after the kingfisher but I forgot how much I enjoy watching young Cooper's hawks figure out what is worthwhile hunting. And on that note, I leave you with a link to a wonderful headshot of an adult Coops from Mike's Digiscoping Blog.