Saw the last of last year's kingfishers or the first of this year's
kingfishers flying downstream along a small brook in the forest here today.
It's a fast-flowing and tumbling stream, so there's usually some open water
in the runs and pools. Thought I heard one the other day along the same
brook. Maybe I did!
All of the birds at the feeders and in the small pines close to the house
went into freeze mode this afternoon. I watched for a number of minutes as
they remained still as fence posts. The RB Nuthatch remained upside down on
a suet feeder. The chickadees didn't even blink. One was still holding a
seed in its bill.
Do they all perceive danger at the same time or are they responding to some
other stimulus? Do they take their cue from birds around them? I looked
about for a hawk, shrike, or cat, but I saw nothing amiss. After quite a
while, a chickadee flew in from somewhere or just moved within one of the
pines. Things slowly went back to normal. A couple of chickadees, including
the one with the seed in its bill, were the slowest to "thaw out".
I've seen this behavior many times, but it's always interesting to watch.
Charlie La Rosa
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." — Arthur Ashe