Saturday, January 22, 2011

Noticed or Unnoticed?


Our feeders have been very busy these cold days and it was not surprising to see a Cooper's Hawk swoop into the lilac tree. The yard was totally silent and even the silly doves were nowhere to be see. But one bird did not make an escape into the big pine tree. A White-breasted Nuthatch flattened itself and clung motionless on the tree bark just a metre away from the hawk. It was hidden only by the width of the small branch and its blue feathers stood out in the afternoon light.


 I know the nuthatch saw the hawk, but did the hawk see the nuthatch? Was this a game to see who would be still the longest?

We watched through the window not wanting to see the small bird become dinner, but then, the bigger bird had to eat too. After several minutes things were unchanged. I walked non-chalantly out on the deck and still there was no movement from either bird. Finally the Cooper's Hawk flew off but the White-breasted Nuthatch remained. I could have picked it up but instead shooed it off and watched as it departed with a squawk to the safety of the pine tree.


Lucky? Smart? I would think both are correct answers.

9 comments:

  1. I a, always amazed at how motionless these birds can be in the presence of danger.I have learned to look for a predator whenever the birds sit like that,You captured great pictures as a result of this.
    Ruth

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  2. You got to see a most amazing part of the survival of life. Plus got great captures too.

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  3. Great photos of an amazing scene. The nuthatch was a smart little guy to hide so well.

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  4. I recently acknowledged two people who post bird pics but not you. I was emphasizing what people could do on their local walks compared to me. I love your pics too, but I know that you sometimes range far afield although your backyard is also quite the place.

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  5. Lovely pics--as you watched nature's drama.
    I too know the hawks have to eat--but would rather not witness it. Some birds are almost too precious to watch their demise.

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  6. I've often said that I think I can see tumbleweeds in the yard when these stealthy hunters are around! Glad this little guy knew he'd better be still and blend right into the tree!

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  7. ooooohhhh close call for the nuthatch. Nature at it's best and it's right out your back door.

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  8. Nicely observant post! It's so hard sometimes not to interfere (and rescue the Nuthatch) with nature..becuase you're absolutely right, the bigger bird must eat too. A wheel within a wheel...

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  9. I have seen this drama played out in my backyard too! I'm glad you were able to witness it and share the photos with us. Great post Ruth!

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