Whole Lotta Fledgin' Goin' On

"I don't approve of this."

Okay, first and foremost I have finally enabled comments on the blog. I don't know if it's the hormones or just a plain old wild hair (or hare in my case) but I'm caving to reader pressure. My concern has always been that inappropriate comments will come in, but NBB assures me that we can get rid of those. I'll give it a whirl. I can always disable. That said, I'm gonna leave the hawk post unanswered another few hours. I'm still not sure about this whole comments thing.

This morning I met Stan in Dakota County at 7am to show him the goldfinch nest I found last week. After I showed him the nest I drove around and saw several fledging birds especially eastern kingbirds, kestrel and more loggerhead shrikes in a 2 mile area than I've ever seen in my life: 12! The really funny thing was that I was approaching an adult shrike when a newly fledged kestrel flew up and landed a few feet away on the same line. Intriguing...one predator gets it's food with it's feet, the other hacks at its food with its bill. What will happen here? The shrike looked as though it wanted to fly but perhaps realized that the kestrel could out fly it and decided to stay. The young kestrel looked just happy to be there and as if it was about to say, "Why hello there, isn't it great to be out of the dark nest box. By the way, do you have any food?" The kestrel then got distracted by a flock of blackbirds and took off towards them.

The kestrel landed again, this time next to a mourning dove. That dove totally wanted to take off but knew there was no way it could out fly a falcon. The kestrel just looked quizzically at the dove. They were similar in size so it probably wasn't occurring the falcon that this was potential prey. Eventually the falcon moved on, much to the relief of the mourning dove.

This afternoon I headed out to Cambridge to meet with my editor and come up with a photo list for the book--it's really coming together. I'll be looking for photos, and will post a list tomorrow--maybe someone out there can help me with bird photos from their yard.

When I left, I was surprised to find two adult sandhill cranes foraging in a field near the road. I know they're supposed to be around here, but they are always unexpected when I drive by them.