Friday, July 30, 2010


It's easy to find the babies. Follow the sound. This tot was perched just off the path. Second baby two trees north and further up. Amahl in the center area very high in tree. I watched while this baby posed. Then its body began doing the mid-body heaves. It's like watching a tummy twitch. I knew what was going to happen, but had never seen this before in the morning. The baby brought up a pellet, a fully intact mulberry with the stem attached. That's the problem, the stem. Their little digestive tracts can't deal with the stems. Up came the berry, projectile, and flew onto the ground.

Baby studied the "out go".

Next: yell for more food.

What happened next took place very fast. Papa sitting on ground. Understandable because of thick humidity.
Baby still on limb.

Papa got up. My eyes saw something that stopped me cold. Get pictures! Papa came at me on the ground. An attack? Was I being perceived as a threat? Face-off? All I wanted were pictures of what I had seen. No. I was not a threat. Papa wanted the "leaf" that was by my feet, except that was no leaf. It was an astonishing insect masquerading as a leaf, young green praying mantis?, huge green grasshopper? I'm not a bug expert. Papa dared to come right to my feet to get this delicacy. He got the bug and flew off towards the section of trees where Amahl hangs out. Compare size of adult robin with this bug. HUGE bug. All of this happened in no more than 4 seconds.

Papa came back after a bit to resume food hunting for kids and then I could document what I'd seen. Papa also has an injured foot. I don't know when this happened. Papa's foot had been fine the previous day. I've checked all pictures from nesting period through fledging time. No injury to Papa's leg. Now he has an injury, same ankle injury as Amahl has, but that doesn't stop him from carrying out his duties, -finding food and feeding the kids. Strength for pulling out worms, good balance for feeding. It's interesting to see that even with damage like this life goes on.
My eyes didn't see this, but the camera caught it. Papa took a leak before delivering brunch. Or maybe it was a message to me?

Belly full. Time to take a quick nap.

I couldn't see Amahl and decided to get some work done. By the door the baby sparrow found the delights of bathing in our little fountain.

I will now be studying every leaf I see. I want to see a live praying mantis.

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