Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Love is in the Air

Boss Squirrel must be in love. He's allowed another squirrel into his territory (my front yard). While he sat in the wooden bird feeder eating the sunflower seeds, a second squirrel was across the yard eating at a platform feeder. Instead of immediately chasing the trespasser as he's done all winter, Boss Squirrel seemed not to care. Later, the two squirrels were sitting in the willow tree inches from each other with no show of hostility.

Hairy woodpeckers are the territorial bosses these days. While they ignore the Downy woodpeckers, my resident pair of Hairy Woodpeckers don't like other Hairy intruders. A new female showed up one day and the older female Hairy showed her displeasure by vocalizing high-pitched 'keeks' and following the newcomer from trunk-to-trunk, branch-to-branch, cage feeder-to-cage feeder.  The newcomer finally had had enough and flew off down the street closely followed by the resident female.
Resident female top right does not like newcomer bottom left.

While this female drama was going on, the resident male Hairy was happily feeding alone at a tree on the other side of the yard. After the females left, the male left. A few seconds later the females returned to the yard with the resident female still chasing the new female. They flew across the yard and disappeared behind the house. Hours later, the new female returned to the suet feeder, but the resident female quickly arrived and chased her off. The newcomer has never returned.
The escape.

Spring also brings on a wider variety of song notes by the winter feeder birds. The Common Red Polls add extra trills to their songs, the Pine Grosbeaks jabber away in low and high 'finchy' rubbery tones, and the Blackcap Chickadees call out their sweet mating notes including a sharply pitched 'sweetheart' 'sweetheart'.

Love is certainly in the air.

Time to Sing

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