I Got Bent!

Here's one of the female education peregrines at TRC. When I finished the program and took her out back, I accidentally passed by our male education peregrine's mew. As soon as he saw the female, he bent low and started his squeaky "per-chup call" as a way of flirting. The female on my fist bent low and spead her wings to join in on the mating ritual too. We're not set up for breeding at TRC so the birds never "get together", plus the situation is so unpredictable. Our male peregrine looks to me to be half the size of our females and I wonder if he were put in with one of them, if they just would try to eat him instead.

While I was talking about birds of prey, Non Birding Bill found a couple of volumes of Bent that I am missing for my collection, so I give you this entry from Life Histories of North American Jays, Crows and Titmice Part Two with an observation of an enemy of the chestnut-backed chickadee (as if a chickadee could have an enemy!):

"...according to Mr. Bowles (1909), another unusual enemy, which "is no other than the common black-and-yellow bumble bee. This insect has a veritable mania for living in holes in trees, and a chickadee nest appears to be the acme of its desires."

Why don't we see that in Valentine's cards: "Oh, baby, you are the acme of my desires."

Speaking of enemies, Cinnamon has taken to a violent disapproval of my motion sensitive blue jay. I got it for our cockatiel Kabuki, as blue jays seem to set her off to singing, but it freaked her out (I think it was the unnatural mechanical movement). The blue jay migrated to various places around the apartment to where it was currently sitting on our window near Cinnamon's new cardboard cottage. She has taken to using the box as a mean of access to the window frame and swiped the blue jay and took it down to her little fortress of solitude and started chewing and flipping it around. Not sure what that was about, but took it away before she hurt herself tearing apart the mechanics.

I had an odd moment yesterday. I planned on some light birding before the rain hit and Non Birding Bill asked if he could come with me. I paused and looked at him. "Why?" I asked. He simply said that he just wanted to spend time with me. I studied him for another minute and asked, "Wait, are you just using me as an excuse to go birding and you don't want people to know?" He denied this and came along. We didn't see the target birds I was going for but did see an eagle, several red-tailed hawks pairing up and one of his favorites: mallards. Regardless of the birds, it was fun to spend time driving around Dakota County with him.