Yesterday, the rather shy red-bellied woodpecker gave me a close-up view of his feathers and beautiful crown as he came for sunflower seed hearts and raw peanuts. He’s getting better at joining the competitive blue jays that are now back to around 20 again.
Today, in an unusual moment when somehow there were no blue jays, I was startled to see a big two-foot-tall juvenile goshawk looking at me from a branch in the middle of where the blue jays usually gather. As is common with birds of the far north, he seemed to accept a large mammal sitting quietly and non-threateningly. As I aimed and clicked the camera, a blue jay landed outside the window, making the goshawk leap into action and let me see how it looks to a blue jay as a big hawk comes fast with eyes focused on lunch. With the hawk close behind, the jay ducked to the side and the hawk flared to miss the window and stay in pursuit. I know the jay got away because a couple minutes later there was the hawk perched much closer than before. Looks can be deceiving. For a moment, he had his head cocked, looking like he would never hurt a thing. A moment later, he finished his show by launching into another chase. My last view of him was of his outstretched wings as he turned to begin another pursuit. He was the first goshawk I’d seen for years.
Another plus today was in Lorie Kennedy’s videos and Judy Thon’s reports of overnight activities here. They documented the first gray fox I’ve seen here in years. We’ll see if it keeps coming with the bobcat here a lot.
Thank you for all you do,
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center