Friday, February 13, 2015

Cardinals & Red-Shouldered Hawk

upon your wing a blush - male cardinal


"Is love a tender thing?" William Shakespeare

Winter weary perhaps but upon your wing
a blush, a flush of red;

a promise

of springtime and tender love
from one crested and full of whistling song

who lost his mate of late

to rapacious rival; swooped in low and fast
and seized her heart;

but surely

as Aquarius makes way for Pisces, so to
does winter's ever-beating march toward spring.

by Margaret Bednar, February 13, 2015

crested and full of song - male cardinal

Rapacious Rival aka Immature Red-Shouldered Hawk 

I was thrilled to watched this hawk (which I think is a young red-shouldered hawk - correct me if I'm wrong) perch and occasionally course through my backyard woodlot this afternoon.  And boy did he (or she) shock me when he decided to glide over my new bird feeder and go after a female cardinal!   The hawk was gliding much faster than she took off - but they flew out of my view of the window frame and I can only hope she made it to the bushes.

I KNOW, hawks need to survive too, but I did move my birdhouse to a safe alcove by my other window and a few more bushes and trees for security.

All photos were taken from inside my house.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Brown Thrasher"

A Brown Thrasher at my bird feeder
I have been fascinated with the Brown Trasher ever since I visited the Biltmore Estates in Asheveille, NC in May of 2011.  I had never seen one before and was quite struck by its direct yellow gaze.  I am sure I've had them in my back woodlot since we moved to NC over five years ago, but have never noticed them.  They like to spend their time on the forest floor looking for bugs and such - much like the Blue Jay.

Brown Thrasher perched at Biltmore Estates, Asheville, NC 2011
Photo by Margaret Bednar

They are classified as a song bird and I am looking foreword to hearing (or identifying as I probably have already heard it while out in my backyard) their song which is quite varied and often mimics other birds.    HERE is a link if you would like to hear a few examples.

A Courtship, of Sorts

I enjoy sparrows, towhees,
titmice, finches, and wrens.

Of course, cardinal's red
and Jay's blue do impress;

yet wait for cinnamon garbed bird
to fly in low and land;

flash yellow eyes,
bare speckled breast.

Watch woodland's edge;
rewarded at last

as curved bill and slim, long tail feathers
grace suet dish.

Lured, but silent; anticipate a morning
he'll serenade with elaborate song.

Margaret Bednar, February 11, 2015