Date: 11/1/20 7:21 pm From: Charlie La Rosa <charlie.larosa...> Subject: [VTBIRD] From unusual to bizarre.
Had a flock of evening grosbeaks here today. Have seen just a few in past years and never for more than a few minutes. Also, within the last few days, a male and female cardinal and a tufted titmouse. Not common here. Several families in this hollow put out feeders for the birds, so perhaps the grosbeaks will stay for a while. I remember that when I was just a kid in Brattleboro (60 years ago) evening grosbeaks appeared at our feeders in the winter fairly often and would stay all winter devouring all the sunflower seeds we could afford to buy.
A couple of weeks ago, I encountered something truly bizarre. Upon arriving at a neighbor's house, I saw a woodpecker on the side of their above ground pool. A cute joke, I thought. Perhaps a wooden silhouette. As I got closer, I realized that the bird was a very real flicker and there was a tiny trickle of water running down the wall of the pool. Sadly, this story does not end well. The wall of the pool was a sky blue color. Apparently, the flicker had flown into the side of the pool and its beak had pierced the pool wall. The flicker had been unable to withdraw its beak because the plastic had broken inward and would have pinched together had the flicker tried to pull back. It had died there with its wings splayed out on either side. The plastic pool wall would have provided no grip for its feet to aid in pushing against the pool. It could only have pushed against the wall with its wings. Had it struggled to remove itself? It appeared that way to me. Was its neck or skull broken on impact? Did it drown? Its beak was below water after all. I don't know, but I observed the beautiful and complex pattern of colors in its plumage for a while as I mourned its untimely and strange demise.
Also, plenty of chickadees here now along with blue jays, juncos, and both nuthatches. A few MODOs appeared today, too.