Date: 6/8/20 7:59 am
From: Sandy Turner <tmsprgrn...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] June 8, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
Hey Ted, How would you describe a hummingbird feeding her young?

On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 8:42 AM Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> wrote:

> 5:01 a.m. 41 degrees, wind ESE 0 mph. Three-quarter moon midway above the
> valley, lit by an unseen sun. Sky: mostly clear; rose-tinted, pastel clouds
> to the south, small groups of fine lines and snaking tufts; changing by the
> moment. Tendrils of mist rise straight up from the wetland and pond, muting
> colors (mostly green); river water inverts above the Ompompanoosuc, hangs
> at canopy-level, tracing the river into the hinterlands like a long, white
> serpent.
> Red-eyed vireo loud, blue-head hushed. Redstart loud, ovenbird louder.
> Clipped phrases of hermit thrush; a full spiral from a veery. A hushed pair
> of chestnut-side warblers, across the road from the male's performance
> tree, eye-level in an alder foraging for caterpillars. Background vocals:
> alder flycatcher, pewee, black-throated blue warbler.
> For the moment, the world is their oyster: blue jays out of the nest and
> following parents to feeders, begging; a spot-breasted robin chick trails
> its father, also begging. Crow family assembles on the railing of the
> compost pile. Chicks mechanically cluck: longer, faster, and sharper than a
> treefrog; a rapid, hollow call I don't often hear . . . except in the front
> yard. Sounds like *tattoo, tattoo, tattoo.*
> On the south end of the pond, perched on a broken pine limb, a hairy
> woodpecker chick patiently (and quietly) watches his father flick pieces of
> bark off a red pine trunk. Each scrap of bark floats earthward, rides
> gravity and a breathless breeze, spinning and drifting in slow-motion.
> Eventually, the adult finds a grub, feeds the chick, his long, thick bill
> tongue-depressure deep down the chick's throat.
> On the eastern ridge, adhering to ancient laws of foodchain etiquette,
> goshawks fed their own chicks, mostly discontented squirrels. Fledgling
> woodpeckers, crows, and robins beware your prince darkness waits on the
> shady side of a clearing, motionless and vigilant, studying the world with
> a chilly indifference.
> Bittern calls; a volley of four and five *ga-lunks*, a pause for fifteen of
> twenty seconds, and then another volley. Pause. Volley. Pause. Volley. I
> first noticed this pattern at 3:45 in the morning when the moon cast pale
> light across the lawn. Still calling, bittern has the stamina of a
> whippoorwill.
> I hear the hum of traffic on State Route 113. I can't say that I missed it.
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