Thursday, May 7, 2009


I was going to call this post "Death in the Neighborhood" but that might be a tad melodramatic. One of the best things about working where I do is that I have 3 windows. During the day, I can glance up and see what's going on the 'hood. I get great enjoyment from watching the birds. On day, there be a great flock of grackles. Another day, a beautiful white egret against a deep blue sky.

There are a lot of birds that nest close by. The osprey are less than a quarter of a mile away. There's a pair of little birds that nest in a camellia bush. Mockingbirds, grackles, woodpeckers, and other birds nest in the pecan and live trees close by. Marsh wrens, red wings, great blue herons, sea gulls, and pelicans are close by as well.

The other day I watched as a brave mockingbird defended his nest against not one, not two, but three crows. It was a dogfight extraordinaire. He was successful.

Today, I happened to glance up and saw one of the ospreys. It was being chased and harried by one of the grackles. Grackles are not known for being aggressive and are usually gregarious and social. As the osprey, came closer, I realized why the grackle was so desperate. Clutched in the osprey's talons was a very tiny shape and I realized it was a hatchling.

The grackle continued to chase the osprey and he was joined by his mate. There was nothing they could do. For the next 10-15 minutes, when I would look up, I would see the two grackles aimlessly flying and trying to do something.

The osprey has a mate and hatchlings of his own to protect. But it was like seeing friend hurt friend. The neighborhood has calmed down for now. The grackles have returned to their nest and the osprey is off to find more prey.


Mottel said...

Your description of the birds is positively captivating! I wish I could see it myself. Here in NY it's mostly pigeons

shira said...


Thanks. I love the outdoors. I've seen pictures of red-tailed hawks in Manhatten. I've had opportunities to leave here for better paying jobs. But the people I work for are like family and they made it very easy for those days when I needed to take off work when my son was sick. They also let me take photo breaks!

The only thing I miss by being here is the great museums. New Orleans, Jackson, and Mobile have some but they cannot compare the Art Institute in Chicago.

Shabbat Shalom!