Do you recall the story of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day?
Well, the past few days here in my little corner of the Concord River have been very blustery, indeed. So blustery, in fact, that Zephuros, the god of the spring winds, blew apart the large oak tree alongside my yard.
This is the oak tree I asked my neighbor not to cut last summer when he was having several trees on his property taken down. https://concordriverlady.com/2020/08/
Seems old Zephuros had other ideas and exhaled strong enough to finish the tree off.
My own oak tree saved the piece from crashing onto my gardens, so, yea oak tree. Sadly, I fear it won’t save the split tree from being cut down. Its days are numbered.
The blustery wind blew in some new friends. A couple of Trumpet swans spent a lazy afternoon across from my house.
Zephuros also blew in the start of what will soon be a plague of grackles.
I’m serious. A large group of grackles is called a plague. You wait, in a couple of weeks I’ll have a whole hassle of grackles, along with Red-winged blackbirds. These birds are the true harbingers of spring.
Now it’s time to play a game.
One of these ducks is not like the others; one of these ducks doesn’t belong…
All the ducks are Mallards except for the last female on the right. She’s a Pintail.
She’s taken to hanging around with a Mallard male. This crossbreeding, or hybridization as it is called, is common among ducks. According to Jennifer Kross, a communications biologist at Ducks Unlimited’s Great Plains Region ‘Waterfowl crossbreed more often than any other family of birds. Scientists have recorded over 400 hybrid combinations among waterfowl species, however, the offspring are typically infertile. In North America, one of the most common wild hybrids results from Mallard/Pintail breeding.’
I can’t wait to see what the chicks look like.
Moving on to more duck news, with all the snow we’ve been having the corn I put out keeps getting covered. But never fear, the ducks found a way to get at the food. As the snow melts, pockets form and, well, see for yourself.
I’m not so sure sticking their heads down a dark hole is safe. Two Red-tailed hawks and a Bald eagle have been hunting in the area.
One unlucky duck should have paid more attention to what was going on in the sky instead of thinking about his stomach.
The circle of life can be a bitch.
But it can also be a wonderful thing. Especially when it involves birds finding mates and proclaiming their territory. You may remember this video of a Tufted titmouse singing out its mating call.
Now watch this:
That’s an male Eastern bluebird letting the other males know that he has proclaimed the mealworm feeder his territory. It’s neat to watch him dive bomb any intruders but act so sweet and charming when the female bluebird swoops in for a bite to eat. Males are such pushovers for a pretty pair of wings.
Okay, that’s all I have for you at the moment. Hang tight, spring is coming and there’ll be more news from the river. Until then, be gentle to Mother Nature’s children.
Blessed be :}
Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.