Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Little Action Between the Purple Martins and a Cooper's Hawk

                                                             American White Pelicans

                                                                    Cooper's Hawk

                                                                       Turkey Vulture

                                                                   Brown Thrasher

                                                             Neotropic Cormorants

                                                                   Harris's Sparrow

                                                           American White Pelicans

03-20 to 04-01-17

Quite a storm came in several days ago and with it, came a number of water birds and shore
birds, all distributed in a number of areas in Payne County.  Some of them are still hanging on
and it is POSSIBLE that we might be in for another storm tonight.  We shall see, as we don't
always get the bad weather since we are in a valley.

The pelican population has been growing since the storm.  All of these beautiful birds appear
to be in breeding plumage, but I have not been able to see all their lovely faces.  Some have
managed to sleep during some tumultuous Canada Goose uproars.

We could have more than seven Purple Martins on the east side of Boomer Lake, but it seems
that many of these birds have been exhibiting more kingbird behavior than their usual manners.
Some of their houses had been infiltrated by European Starlings and House Sparrows.  They
have graciously allowed these birds to stay, but they forced their way in to their settlements.

What few of the martins there are, they are also patrolling an additional house, so they each
have two homes.  Imagine that!

Now here's the kicker (sorry).  The house across from Kicker (Stillwater Designs), has been the most active and the most watched by a Cooper's Hawk.  Yesterday, I had a group of four martins over my head carrying on, and they were following me.  A quarter of a mile later, I found out why, as you can see in the above photo.  Their home was being used as a lookout post by this Cooper's Hawk, who didn't like the fact that I was photographing his transgression.  The hawk then settled in the trees west of the martin house, whom I again photographed on my return trip from Boomer Creek.  He then flew across the lake and the martins returned home from where they were sitting on the electric wires just east of their home.

Today, our brave heroes were in hot pursuit of the Cooper's Hawk, which I noticed upon my return
from Boomer Creek.  These birds are relentless and apparently, fear very little.

The Brown Thrasher was my first of year bird a couple of days ago, and now there are two.

These three Neotropic Cormorants were from last month, and they were conveniently all seated together.

Tomorrow, I will see you in the paper with Life at Boomer Lake.  Happy birding!