Featherweight fighters

Birdy box score: Oriole - 1 Hawk - 0

Birdy box score:
Oriole – 1
Hawk – 0

A Red-tailed hawk hadn’t been perching for too long before it was attacked by various other birds, including Red-winged blackbirds and Baltimore orioles.

During nesting season the smaller birds were taking no chances, and the hawk reluctantly left to go look for lunch elsewhere.

(Earlier posts about another hawk and oriole.)

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Day of a cone bent

Poplararity

Poplararity

On a breezy afternoon, this blossom of a Tuliptree or Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) was momentarily blown over to provide a better view of its bristly inner workings.

The ring of matchstick filaments surrounds the central cone like so many attendants waiting to serve a sovereign.

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Come Cape May

The Caped Migrator

The Caped Migrator

A couple of hours north of his namesake town, this Cape May warbler (Setophaga tigrina) nonetheless seemed to be right at home in a migratory stopover.

He’s probably looking for nectar and/or insects in the new leaves of what may be a Black walnut tree (Juglans nigra).

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On a clearwing day

Be like a bee

Be like a bee

Buzzing along while filling up on nectar, this fuzzy fellow — a Snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis) — looks and acts a lot like a bumblebee. Today’s menu may include Beach plum blossoms or some other shrubby flower in the Rosaceae family.

(Previous posts about a Beach plum plant and a different kind of Clearwing moth.)

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Black-crowned jewel

Silent night stalker

Silent night stalker

Drowsing on and off atop a creek rock, this Black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) was patiently awaiting his later dinner hour.

Although a bit short by some heron standards, he rather resembled a long-legged penguin.

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Just the flax, ma’am

Petite purple prize

Petite purple prize

Despite its bright color, this Canada toadflax (Nuttallanthus Canadensis) is easy to miss. Its skinny stem is practically leafless, and the bloom size is quite small. Still, it rewards a closer look with at least a partial eyeful of vibrant violet.

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Owlet mall

Watching the watchers

Watching the watchers

Between fluff & feathers

Between fluff & feathers

A small family of Great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) were sitting in various spots in tall pine trees along a wooded park promenade. The owlets were the easiest to spot with their fleecy white covering.

Two were huddled together on one branch, while a third sat a bit lower in a nearby tree. The parent was virtually invisible until it decided to fly over to another perch for a while.

A rare treat to see so many of these birds in one place.

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