Tried to test the effects of the eclipse on the local birds. They did quiet down but they were rather quiet in the first place. But no one at the feeders for a while including the squirrel people Did take some pictures of the sun. You can see the progress of the eclipse in shadows on the sidewalk as the sun shines through the leaves of a tree.
West nile virus has reappeared after an absence of a couple of years. All of the blue jays in 2 of the 3 local clans died within a period of a week or so. One was immune or not bitten and is trying to join another family without any luck yet. All my tame birds went. I had hoped that they had developed an immunity like a few do.
The cooper's hawks had a boy and a girl chick that are out feeding very well. The young male comes by the feeder and gets house finch youngsters. I see the parents when out walking early in the day.
The red-tailed hawks moved off with the chicks almost right away and have stopped coming back. The Mississippi kite that ranged overhead about once a week is not doing that either. So no hawks but someone sure scares the doves every now and then.
Not a good year for chicks among the little birds other than house finches. Chickadees and titmice had one early brood but not a second and no downy or red-belly chicks. Squirrels had lots of youngsters so there is someone to talk to.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>