Tag Archives: animal antics

Magpie youth

Baby magpie grounded

This week baby magpies left the nest in the neighbourhood. So cute with their little tails, concentrating hard on short, inexperienced flights.

This morning I saw something I’ve never seen before – young magpies with light grey markings* where normally they are blue-black. They look so different I wouldn’t have thought they were the same kind of bird, but they were behaving like other young magpies, making the same calls with other magpies, and seemed to be part of a family of normally marked magpies. Possible!?

(*Not pictured here – didn’t have my camera with me!) 

Spring Showers

Woke up this week to a winter wonderland – snowed all night and all day.
The world made new. Again.

A mouse lives near the entrance to the neighbourhood park. In the fresh snow on the remaining snowbanks she is busy tunnelling; across the bank, popping up and burrowing down again, leaving tiny holes in the snow. The fresh snow so soft and shallow her tunnel falling in behind her, leaving a path of churned up snow. Terminating at the heart of a leafless bush, stems offering protection from avidly curious snouts of canine folk passers-by.

A Blue Jay calls in the morning from the oak tree in a low buzzing rattle, ending in a middle-pitched *click* – a mating call?

 

Owl

A pale owl flapped to the top of a spruce tree in the park this morning, and sat there, stone still. Very rare sighting.

Eleven crows flying northward, chatting. (close attention to their silhouettes this time, plus it’s lighter now for morning walks – yay (solar) spring! – definitely blunt-tailed, smooth ruffed crows, not V-tailed craggy ravens.)

> It’s somewhat warmer today, after a week of chill-you-to-the-bone, and lots of deep snow remains everywhere.

Five black silhouettes sail overhead under the morning moonlight, croaking in raspy voices to one another, revealing themselves as crows.

Perhaps they wandered over from campus, or are migrating north in the unusually warm weather. This neighbourhood belongs to the magpie clan; crows, especially such deep voiced ones, aren’t common here, though I love to hear them.

This morning all the neighbourhood squirrels are out industriously clipping and dropping long green spruce cones from the trees, creating a steady “plunk” throughout the alleys.

Our resident squirrel – a yearling who has set up shop under our garden shed – is nimbly flowing out to the slender branch tips of the bur oak in his quest for the last remnants of acorns, occasionally slipping in the insubstantial branches and hanging precariously with a squeak! of alarm.

Squirrel in oak tree

Where’s Waldo!

Although no other squirrel is after his treasure mine, he must contend with a curious blue jay who stops by from time to time.