Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spring Behavior and an Alarm

The first bird I heard today was while I was still lying in bed: a White-winged Dove started singing a little before dawn. (As I write this at about 9:30 I am still hearing singing doves through my windows.) I spent about 40 minutes watching birds in my yard this morning, starting at about 8:20. Besides doves, American Robins, Carolina Wrens, a Bewick's Wren, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, and Black-crested Titmice were also singing. I watched a Blue Jay hop around in the dead tree over my driveway and tug at twigs with its bill. Was it trying to find dead twigs that would easily snap off for a nest?

Bird Language observations were mostly baseline: singing, foraging, contact calls, even some wing vibrating by one of a pair of White-winged Doves which I think is part of mating behavior. But near the end of my 40 minutes of observation to the northwest I simultaneously heard an explosion of dove wing beats (including some clapping of wings together) and several quick and more urgent-sounding Blue Jay calls. Doves fled the area and I watched small mixed groups of Cedar Waxwings and European Starlings in tight flights circle around and land up high in the trees. Birdsong temporarily stopped.

I did not see what caused the alarm, and I couldn't go investigate since it was in a neighbor's yard. But I'm sure there was something that upset these birds.

Here's my eBird list.

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