Monday, June 12, 2006

sharks of the sky

Light posting since Blogger was in and out most of last week.

This evening, though, we were sitting after dinner with the door open to the muggy weather, and I realized I was hearing alarm calls coming from robins in the trees out front. I was told that these calls had been going on most of the day, joined occaisionally by jays and crows. "I'll be there's a hawk in the yard," I said. So we went to look, and sure enough, there was a sharp-shinned hawk in a tree on the driveway. We watched as the robins, either enraged or alarmed, would get closer to the hawk while scolding, when suddenly the hawk would launch itself after the closest bird, deftly maneuvering through the branches, settling on a new perch with an excited side-to-side shake of the tail. A pair of jays came in and started scolding, and got the same treatment, while a few crows circled around the edges, calling also, but staying further away.

After standing awhile watching this drama unfold, I head a distinctive high clicking sound, and then spotted the hummingbird who was also joining the battle. We watched for several minutes as robins, jays, and hummingbird circled, perched, and scolded, trying to chase away the hawk, which seemed just patient enough to wait until a scolding bird got close enough to chase down. When we went back inside because the rain was finally starting, the robins were still enraged and alarmed, and still calling to every other bird in the neighborhood to "look out, for the shark of the sky!"


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