Wild turkey Mom and kids
While having breakfast, we noticed these wild turkeys joining us as we watched them through our dining room window. It’s early for Thanksgiving, but not too early for wild turkeys making rounds. They come through our yard every year, and they are always welcome to enhance our scenery. My husband Vic dashed out with his SLR and took these photos.
Flocks of starlings flew by, and Effie’s gaze was transfixed. She simply watched them the whole time, without licking her lips or making any guttural sounds, or shifting to a pounce position. The distance between the window from which she is observing the flock to the trees where the starlings have perched is approximately 100 feet.
Effie has never killed a bird, but her chasing of birds has resulted in a few avian injuries. She has injured them but backed off and let them recover and fly off. This morning was different. Looking out the window, I saw her tossing a tiny bird in the air, batting it, and catching it with her paws and her teeth. When the little creature hit the ground without getting up, I intervened.
Effie lay down on her haunches next to me while I examined the little bird, a tiny female goldfinch. Her eyes were closed, but she was breathing. One wing looked disjointed. She flexed her feet continuously, and I thought it could be rigor mortis.
The birds who have hit the ground of Effieland stunned have been ones who entered through the fence and eventually crashed into the outside of our house and simply landed there, stunned for a while. Effie always left them alone to recover, and eventually they regained the strength to return through the wire fencing and depart. Invariably these birds were mourning doves. They were large and strong and canny, and Effie only chased them when they were flying and her attempts to snag them were thwarted.
The goldfinch was very small, and I was furious to see Effie playing a catch-and-launch game with it. When the little bird hit the ground and didn’t get up, the game was over. I gave Effie to understand that I was her prey’s protector. She yowled to return to her garden, but I stood fast. She was grounded whether she understood the reason or not. She is napping peaceably in her chair.
I went out to the spot where the bird had been after about an hour, grim at the thought of Effie’s first bird kill. But the little finch was gone! She had left her spot and I could not find her anywhere in Effieland, though it would be almost impossible to see her among all the vegetation. In any case, Effie is not there for now, and no other predators can get in.
Thanks to God’s preserving grace, this tiny female goldfinch is a true survivor!
AFTERWORD: Confident that the little goldfinch escaped, I relented and let Effie out to resume her proper role as sovereign of Effieland. She played cat and bird too roughly, but the bird evidently survived and will likely select gentler play companions in the future.
The sudden appearance of a flock of wild turkeys in my neighbor’s front yard was an entrancing photo op. I took the photo through a window. Now they’re in my front yard: 12 of them. . .
Who’s Effie looking at?
But of course! New friends every day!
Looking out the window, I noticed two goldfinches perched on our bronze sunflowers. My husband’s camera has more competent telephoto capability than mine, and he took these shots through a window without a flash.
Today’s weather was brisk, but far more pleasant than the last few days of thunder, lightning, and rain. My husband and I celebrated with a Snake River fishing cruise in our bonny boat Pisca-Dory, and decided to visit Chief Timothy State Park.
The park has a boat ramp and there was no wait, and in fact, no one else there. There’s a $5 parking fee, and it was worth every cent for the peace and quiet and absence of anyone else on the entire portion of the river. A gaggle of pelicans was a very special sight. I think of all birds, pelicans are the most beautiful in flight.
We were out for crappie and bass, but also to enjoy being out on our boat on a pleasant day. My husband caught an 11″ Smallmouth bass who fought a good fight before he was brought on board. We both had two bites from fighters who bolted before we could land them in the boat.
Fishing has a lot of variables, and the fisherman doesn’t always win, but a fisherman loves fishing whether or not he secures a catch.
You bet I shoot pelicans! At a
shutter speed of 1/2000!
The Chief Timothy Pelican Council
(Vic’s and my photos; Vic’s video)