|Chestnut-backed Chickadee by Tom Coroneos|
Last week was unseasonably warm--about 20 degrees above average for this time of year. The 70+ degrees made it possible to sit on our deck and watch the chickadee activity. We both carried our bowls of cereal and hot beverages out for breakfast every day, and ate some lunches and dinners outdoors, too.
|Jays are a threat to many smaller birds|
Then, I heard the call of a raven. The entire resident bird population went quiet. I imagine that ravens are the biggest threat of all to the smaller birds around here, and for several minutes there wasn't a peep from any of them. Finally the adult chickadees resumed their constant collecting of food, but they did a lot more fluttering of wings, and flying branch to branch, before they headed home to deliver lunch.
This morning's viewing brought big rewards--we were able to see the young. At least we could see one jump to the entrance to his home while awaiting mom or dad to return with a meal. We have the feeling that the meals are coming a little less often--the parents need a break and baby needs to make his flight from the nest. I think the big event--the first flights--will take place within the next 24 hours.
Perhaps the most surprising thing to me about this whole period of observation is that Ralph and I have spent so much time sitting still watching this activity. We hardly ever sit anywhere near this long. It has been fun to have this opportunity to observe nature without the distractions of everyday life! I am reminded that the backpacking and hiking that we do are rewarding in similar ways.
For Chestnut-backed Chickadee info from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, click here.
We get a surprising amount of wildlife in Oakland--here are a few examples.
|This fawn visited us a couple of years back.|
|Spiderlings disperse quickly!|
|This sweet House Finch eats whatever he can get!|