Had the first known post breeding wanderer of the summer with a singing
plain colored pine warbler singing in the pine tree. I think that this is
the earliest I have had one except the one year that a female came for food
after fledging youngsters.
Only 2 weeks until I can look for black and white and yellow-throated
warblers which have to come a much further distance to wander.
It has been a good summer for hawks. A single Mississippi kite wanders in
every week or so for the first summer bird in maybe 15 years.
My red-tailed hawks moved way back in march after dead trees were removed
but apparently nested not too far west; maybe back of Kinkaid school or
thereabouts. I never saw any sign of a red-tail after March. They
apparently had 3 young that I could hear screaming over the weekend and the
alarm jay has improved his imitation which had gotten very rusty after a
A big female cooper's hawk comes by once in a while to the alarm of all. A
week ago I went out on the balcony after hearing a disturbance and watched
a very small notched tailed brown accipiter head away from deep in the
jungle. At the hawk watch tower I would have marked down a sharp-shin but I
think that the outer tail feathers were shorter and the tightly held tail
was that of a very small male cooper's. They also moved further west after
the tree work. The male of the pair has always been called the tiny hawk so
maybe this bird inherited the size from the father rather than the mother.
The barred owls continue to amuse. What is surprising is that they are
totally ignored by the blue jays, titmice and other scolders. Even when
they perch 15 feet in the open from the feeders, the jays just go about
their business. They are also ignored by bunrabbit when he comes for his
carrots. Several calling this morning after a short sprinkle. Some of the
squirrels feed right on the balcony in front of them and don't even run
when the owls fly. Maybe when the toads etc finish celebrating the swollen
bayou the owls will turn to larger prey.
Finally had young Carolina wrens for the last species to bring out their
babies. Have had young jays for a couple of weeks but 2 or 3 families are
still hauling food. Best year for jays since WNV arrived but not the sight
or sound of a crow which is what I really miss.
Need more cooper's hawks as the white-winged doves are also having a great
summer. All it takes is one hawk to eat a couple for most doves to find
another place to eat at least for a bit.
Have been watching for storm birds but not even many flighting white-wings
or chimney swifts. Low down wind nil but the clouds could have birds from
the gulf. Only hard rain was about 10 yesterday and the bayou started up
but is back down to normal. With luck it will stay that way.
Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston
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