Tag Archives: fighting

Harlequin Duck Soap Opera

Mrs. H. was going about her business but keeping close to the Mister after such a hard migration.  The usual rigg-raff was in the neighborhood of course, but that was to be expected in NJ.  What she had not expected, afer all off this time, was a blip in her martial bliss.  And she most certainly did not expect it to come from Mister H’s roving eye.

the-other-woman

When a beautiful alluring Oldsquaw started hanging around; she paid her no heed.  She was gorgeous, it’s true, but Mrs. H. knew what Mister H did not.  Ducks that completely changed their look in winter were not to be trusted.  She had often wondered what they were hiding from.  Why the disguise?  She snorted to herself; with that ridiculous long tail, it wasn’t even much of a disguise.  She watched the Oldsquaw out of the corner of her eye.  A tiny voice murmured in her head. “Pale ducks have more fun.”  The first tendril of jealousy wrapped around her heart.

caught-looking

Then to her horror, she noticed Mr. H, actually looking at the pale beauty too.  She had thought that Mister H only had eyes for her. Her opinion of the entire Oldsquaw species changed in an instant.  How dare that hussy try to intrude!

harlequin-ducks-fighting

Mrs. H. flew into a rage.  After all she had done for him: the long flight; the nest building; bringing up the ducklings by herself.  How dare he look at another female.  What to Mr. H. had only been an idle glance, had tightened the tendril of jealousy of his mate.  Mr. H. had seen a side of  her that he had not known existed.  He hastily reassured the Mrs. that she alone reigned in his affections.  She had the dark beauty that he preferred and he vowed to himself that even in the secret recesses of his heart he would never think of her as dowdy again.  The Oldsquaw flew off once the fighting started.  She had merely been separated from her clan after a particularly long dive.

harlequin-pair

Tranquility restored; the H’s paddled off  resume fishing.

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Woodpecker Brawl

feeder-birds-in-snow

It is snowing again on the mountain.  I had just come in from picking the new metal birdfeeders up off of the ground, putting them back together (sigh, the never ending battle with the bears.  Aren’t they suppose to be sleeping?) and filling them.  Standing at the kitchen sink contemplating buying more of the broomstick hooks to get the feeders higher in the trees, I saw a flash of red.  A Red-bellied Woodpecker was flying to a feeder, selecting a sunflower seed then hopping to the tree to peck it open.  I took these shots through the glass of the French door to the deck.  (Notice the White-breasted Nuthatch on the right of the tree?  That was a surprise.)

red-bellied-woodpecker

He methodically hopped back and forth from feeder to tree for several minutes;

red-bellied-woodpeckers-brawling

when, from out of the swirling snow, another male Red-bellied flew straight at him, taking him by surprise.  They both flew off unscathed and did not come back.    I have never seen this behavior.  Heck, I have never seen two male Red-bellied Woodpeckers in my backyard although I have a resident pair that nest on the property.  I guess one was an interloper.

Have you seen woodpeckers brawling?

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Filed under backyard, Photos