Today’s picture: A bird that refuses to learn from experience.
We often have yellow-bellied sapsuckers in our yard…but we don’t often have them fly into our windows. This one was dazed and on the patio after hitting our kitchen window at full force. When we checked to see if it was alive, we startled it and it flew about a meter, to sit on the ledge of the basement window. We let it slowly regain its senses, and I took a bunch of pictures.
Then the hawk flew past.
Most years, we have one or more pigeon hawks (aka merlins) living in our area. They’re great birds to have around — very unlike the typical sparrows and crows and whatnot that inhabit the neighbourhood. But the other birds (justifiably so) are a little scared of it…even the crows and grackles keep their distance.
So, when the hawk let out its distinctive cry a little ways away, the sapsucker started to panic. First, it tried to fly into the basement, but was foiled by the window. It didn’t hurt itself, because it didn’t get up any speed, but it took it a while to give up. It then perched on the window for a minute (which is when I took this picture), as if planning its next move. It should have planned more — the next thing it did, it left the basement window and flew full force into the sunroom window, bounced off, recovered in mid-air, and flew into the kitchen window. It sat on the ledge there for a few seconds and was then startled by someone inside leaning up to the window to see what the noise was. Finally it flew away from the house and lit in a tree (the one we normally see the sapsuckers in), and is, hopefully, still alive. Honestly, I doubt the hawk would bother it anyway…the hawk isn’t much bigger than it, and there are lots of other small birds around.