On going challenge

A few mornings ago as I finished my tea, I spotted a “dule” of mourning doves in the tree we call the ‘waiting room’ but before I could focus properly, they had all bogged off leaving one brave soul to pose.

Or maybe it had been asleep. It looked a little bemused: “Where’d everyone go?”

So, was it the sight of my camera? I don’t think so. I wasn’t actually at the window. Birds just seem to know when I am trying to capture their images and birds here are hard-wired to avoid my attempts. Like people who believe that photographs capture their spirit.

It’s disappointing that our birds can read my intention to take their picture but not my good will.

Though doves are not usually so shy…

…perhaps it wasn’t me that set them to flight after all.

Maybe it was the belligerent starlings moving in:

Apologies for the inferior quality.

Their silhouettes amuse me.

Starlings are less skittish. I think they are just too busy being hooligans to notice a camera.

One snowy day, the starlings decided to roost in the bush by our kitchen window to the discombobulation of the DD birds:

“This is my bush and I’m staying here!” said this one.

His mates called a strategy meeting in the snow

…but they couldn’t seem to get on the same page.

So they all just did their own thing.

It rather reminded me of supervisors meetings…

…back when I was otherwise involved with aviators.

So what is wrong with this picture?

Does this bluejay have no feet? Maybe it’s levitating?

And what about this one?

Cute little chap seemed happy to pose…

He’s got no tail!

…and one of his wing feathers is twisted.

Did a predator try to get him?

A dove came by to check out the situation but she went away and fetched another jay:

“Now how did you let that happen?”

The poor embarrassed bird fluttered into a bush and seemed set to remain there. But when I looked later it was gone and we’ve not seen it since. I hope he’s alright.

The day after we found blood spatters in the garage, I saw this little guy and he was around for a couple of days with his feathers in disarray.

Was he the bird that had got stuck in the garage?

Somehow I don’t think so. I’ve just been desperate to know that the prisoner escaped safely.

But there’s no way of knowing.


Injured or disabled creatures often seem to turn up here: A gimpy squirrel that presumably had some sort of brain or spinal damage. Mrs Plod the deaf, blind possum. An injured chipmunk that we believed was a victim of Pancho the neighbor’s cat. After a night in a box he scurried off happily. Then Grant found a snake downstairs and it stayed overnight in another box. Numerous mice have been rescued and released.

But they aren’t always happy stories. We had not been here long when a wild turkey flew into the house. It was fatally injured. Grant had to catch it and wring its neck which was horribly upsetting.

And two years ago we had the sad saga of the rabid raccoons. Grant dealt with that too.

Living in the country, one has to accept these things. Sometimes the only help you can offer is a quick release. I’m lucky to have Grant to manage it. Would I have the courage??? Having a pet euthanized is one thing. I could administer an injection, but wring a bird’s neck? If it was suffering, maybe I could but it would be hard.

The last of my bird images for now

Goldfinch, Cardinal and Junco.

Not that I shall ever abandon the quest for bird pictures, but they make it a challenge!

9 thoughts on “On going challenge

  1. I had to give “quick release” to several birds when I worked in a zoo. Every time I wished someone else would do it but the thought of any animal suffering in pain got me through. It is not easy but the other option is worse. Gotta do what’s best. Love your bird pictures!

    1. Yes he’s quite posh. In Washington State they have Stellar jays that are a brighter blue and with no white or black. They are stunning. But I love them all.

  2. I killed a badly-injured rabbit once, breaking its neck with a large stick. But dealing with rabid raccoons is a different matter! Luckily, we don’t have those in Beetely.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. It was awful for Grant to have to shoot the guys that had been our visitors for weeks. The ground her is all slate so one can’t bury animals. I called to ask what we should do and was told to double bag them and put them in the trash. That nearly did for me.

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