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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

Geese engage in wet, wild fight

The pair of Canada geese nesting at the edge of our backyard pond are very territorial, as is the nature of that species. Occasionally, another goose or two land on the pond. The residents are quick to give chase, honking loudly, the intruders put to wing. 


Yesterday, however, the resident gander got rough with what I assume to be the male of a pair that flew in. A wrestling match immediately ensued. Necks were grabbed and feathers pulled, the birds tumbling in great splashes of water, sometimes under water. The battle lasted about two minutes. The females watched until things calmed. The intruders left.





Nabbing gnats

Haven't posted often in recent days. It finally was time to be outside. This Palm Warbler help explains why. This bird was hunting gnats in the wooded area at the back of our yard. Sometimes I go elsewhere to find birds. This isn't always necessary. Patience is necessary. Sit still, and see what happens. (It helps to have a wooded yard.)

Warblers, like this one, and other migrants are returning. It would be nice to have more of them before trees leaf out heavily. That makes them much easier to see.

There has been a Northern Waterthrush working the edges of our swampy pond for two days, the days before the rain that's making this a wet Wednesday. The waterthrush was flipping leaves to find whatever might be beneath. The bird was too quick for me to catch it in the act.

I tried to get the Palm Warbler as it jumped to grab a gnat, but just caught the bird's focus.

Another noteworthy event back there is return of female Red-winged Blackbirds. We've seen few until this morning, when six were at the seed feeders. The males arrive first, weeks before their potential mates, to choose nesting territories. The rain today should slow departure of migrants that have arrived in the past two days/nights. When the rain stops, it should be good birding. The birds heading north are unlikely to leave until flying conditions improve.