I’m sitting here on the deck, having just gotten up from a great Father’s Day nap, marveling at the cacophony of birds right now at Roundstone Farm. Actually, most of the commotion is from this years baby crows and a pair of young hawks that have been hanging around for the last week. The hawks must be from the same brood, for they seem to be inseparable. I don’t think they’ve got the hunting down, for I haven’t seen them actually catch anything yet. They just sorta sit around and scream at each other. Like right now, one is sitting on a barbed wire fence looking at the pond while the other is on the taller of the gate poles checking out the grass at the base of the pole. They’re just sitting there, backs to me, with their heads tucked into their broad shoulders, checking out the territory and every so often screaming at each other. They seem to be unaware of the crows calling all around them. In fact it’s odd that the crows aren’t driving them off. Normally, any hawk perched on that particular gate pole would be incessantly buzzed by at least one pair of crows. Not with these two, it’s almost like the crows realize that these two hawks are just too young and inexperienced to be a threat. Of course, I should note that most of the crows making all the noise are this years young themselves. When you first look at them, they appear to be adults, for they’re the same size. But after a couple of minutes it’s clear that they are just learning the ropes. I’m looking at four of them now, they’re all on the ground about 50 yards from the hawks. Neither the hawks or crows appear to be paying much attention to each other, or at least it seems. I have no doubt that at least two of the crows are the young of one of the other, for they’re right behind mom or dad as she/he walks around the pasture looking for this or that. Every time the adult stops they’re right there with their mouths open, begging to be fed. However, I think the adult is trying to wean them, for she/he is eating everything it turns up and is not sharing. Now, on a fence just off to the left sits two morning doves. I’ve seen these two a bunch of times. Definitely this years, they’re about half the size of their parents. They’re just sitting there watching the finches on the feeder. Every once in a while letting out a couple of coos. They are really perfect knock-offs of their folks. One of them almost took my head off this morning while coming in for a landing. I was in the side garden watering some yarrow that I recently had planted when here they came. One of the two had to pull up real quick as it tried to land. I don’t think it saw me. Whatever, it stopped so abruptly that it seemed to almost fall from the sky. If that one keeps flying like that, there will only be one little one sitting on the fence next week.
It’s interesting that most of the bird talk has subsided. Some times I can see a reason for all the commotion, like when a sharp shined hawk buzzes the back yard, but a lot of times there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why all of a sudden everyone seems to chime in. It’s similar to, “why do the spring peepers in the pond all of a sudden stop peeping at one time, and then start peeping again in unison?” Some graduate student should do a study on that one.