the catbirds

It was a busy bird morning. Two catbirds (not the ones pictured) were engaged in some sort of territorial battle, and they apparently knew the rules of engagement well.

Catbirds are noisy if you have them around, and I’m used to hearing their calls. It can be like a strange white noise. You tune it out. So the first thing I noticed was two birds circling the property over and over. Once I started paying attention, I realized there was a protocol. It started with a squawking session…two gray birds perched on branches not far from each other. Then one took off after the other, and the chasing began. Over the house to the front yard, then back again to circle around to an area just past my backyard. Some dodging and looping back there, and then back again to the front. And back again. They didn’t dive bomb or physically attack each other the way robins do, but they were persistent.

The catbirds flew under the canopy, and I wondered if they might fly into a tree trunk. With all the branches and leaves, it took some quick reflexes and agile maneuvering to avoid obstacles. A little like Top Gun.

After a few minutes, I guess they got tired, and stopped to rest. Like, “Timeout!” Again, they perched on separate branches, and started up the the dueling cat calls. A stand-off? Oh no. After a minute of squawking, they took off and it started over again. They did this over and over.

Eventually it just ended. The birds seemed okay, and neither seemed to sustain injuries. I’ve seen the robins battle, and I don’t think they quit until somebody’s feathers are ruffled.

photograph from 2014


thanks for visiting clover & ivy

my buddy

I can’t help myself. There’s something about this little guy.
I find him standing there at the precipice of this red petal.
He’s been there for days.
Surveying his universe? Looking for a mate?
Trying to figure out how to get down?
And do those two black dots on the back of his head look backwards?
Maybe he’s looking at me while I’m looking at him.