Saturday, February 23, 2013

Solitaire, Indeed

I was supposed to help with a project at Fenner Nature Center today, but it got called off at the last minute.  However, after doing some unanticipated janitorial work at church, I ended up at Fenner anyway.  I popped over to the area I saw the famous Townsend's Solitaire last week to see if  I could get some more photos.  It was about 10 degrees warmer today and it made it more bearable to hang around to shoot photos of the little guy.  To my delight, the Solitaire was already there munching away on the buckthorn berries.  While friendly enough to me, the Solitaire seems to have a reputation worthy of its "solitary" name.  A talkative Northern Cardinal and a flock of 19 Cedar Waxwings also had their sights set on some of those berries for lunch.  The Solitaire would have none of it.  It did not chase off the Cardinal, but the Cedar Waxwings got an ear full and had to eat and fly.  Because of the Solitaire's darting to and fro chasing the Waxwings, I did not get any video of it singing its agitated song.  About the time I got my tripod moved and focused on it, off it went to scare off a Waxwing.  Pretty soon all the other birds cleared out and the Solitaire settled down again.

I did get some more video of the Solitaire today (posted below).  I found its snow eating an interesting thing.  I assume that it eats the snow for water, but I cannot say definitively.  I shall have to do more research on that.  You can see it gobble up some snow several times in the video.

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