Friday, September 10, 2010
Tiny becomes a "ballfield killdeer"
Tiny, one of George's 2 month old chicks, seems to be comfortable in the Lake Murray ballfields and was hanging around with Secret, Digger, an unknown young male and his look-a-like today. In another field, Shy, her dad and the "baby" killdeer were hanging out together. Shy and Digger have been watching Tiny and the other juvenile males with interest.
Two adults were in the large field, Field #7, all alone, keeping an eye out for hawks. The male Cooper's hawk was across the lake in George's territory trying to catch pigeons and terrorizing the ducks. George and the rest of his family were not seen even though the water levels have gone back down. I suspect that's because he's watching over young chicks. It's unknown what the role of his two last "teenage" chicks (Firecracker and Killer) are playing regarding the new babies (if any).
Tiny's a bit of a bully, it seems, and often starts fights. Secret seems to be his main target, though other juvenile males will take part. But, Secret is not a sissy and often fights back.
Most of it is play much in the way that colts and bachelor stallions play-fight between each other. It's good preparation for adulthood.
In other lake news, there was some kind of fire in the reeds between the 1.75 and 2 mile mark along the walking path. It's a weird spot as it's not a popular fishing area and the fire seemed to have started near the road. I don't know any of the particulars about it such as when it started or how, but it seems odd. I hope it's just an isolated incident and not the start of a trend, especially as the season gets dry. Birds have sensitive lungs and breathing passages and fires in the area would devastate many of them.
I'm glad there are no baby coots or ducklings right now. The song sparrows seem to actually like hanging around the burnt reeds, I hope they and the marsh wrens didn't have any nests in there. The burned plants have a really sweet smell like someone is barbecuing with mesquite.