|Our Feathered Friends - Jan. 28|
|Friday, January 28, 2011|
By RAY POPE
I was washing dishes this past Sunday, where my kitchen window faces out into the back yard where my feeders are located. All the regular birds were enjoying a nice lunch when suddenly birds went everywhere like they had been shot out of a cannon. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. A Coopers Hawk came within about five feet of the window, probably doing about fifty miles an hour trying to catch one of my friends for his dinner. He was just a blur as he passed by. I looked out every window looking to see if he had caught something.
Hawks are said to weed out the weaker of the birds so only the strong survive. Several years ago, I watched a Hawk trying to catch a male Cardinal. The Cardinal, I thought would escape, but his speed was no match for the faster and more agile hawk, and it seemed like the Cardinal ran out of gas and just let the Coopers grab him.
A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to another species of Wrens which used to be here in profusion till the arrival of the House Wren, which then sent him packing toward the direction of the sunset. So far all the Wrens I’ve mentioned belong to the family Troglodytidae, which is to say that they live in some kind of cavity.
One more member of this family is the Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) which like his name suggests, is a regular winter visitor here in our area. The late Reverend William Senter and I were on a Christmas Count in the early 1970s when I spotted one around the Spring Creek area in a brush pile. I had never seen one before, but will not forget what I saw that day. They are very small, about 4 inches in length, with rufous-brown above and grayer below, barred with darker brown and gray. He wears a very light eyebrow and has a short, stubby tail. Unlike other wrens, this one doesn’t flit around, but seems to creep around more like a rodent. Never take anything for granted while bird watching, as there are many similar birds to confuse you.
Karen Franklin sent me a picture that was taken by her good friend, Susan Young of Evansville, Ind., of a beautiful Barred Owl. I know the distance is great, but it is to pretty to pass up.
I received another phone call from Shirley and Dot Judkins asking about having a very large flock of Mourning Doves at their home. Just in case their names sound familiar, you might have eaten at their old restaurant, Super Burger, on North Cumberland Street here in Lebanon. My family used to eat there most every Friday. Another bird that Dot mentioned was House Finches. Thinking back, I really miss eating there.