I’ve mentioned the return of some of our fine, feathered friends.
When I get some time (way too rarely) and it’s warm, I like to go out on the back porch and read. These guys (and their neighbors) don’t take kindly to that. The guy sits on the BBQ and bitches at me. We have four nests currently in use under the eaves of the patio roof. The rest of them were all trying to play chicken with my head. But they weren’t anywhere near as bad as geese, turkeys, swans, or magpies can get. They never got within a few feet, just wanted to make sure that I knew they were there. Probably also showing off for the ladies a bit.
The males are all quite bright red at the moment, and extremely noisy. It’s a complex birdsong, very pretty, except when there’s a dozen of them doing it at full volume outside at 05:30.
The females have more drab plumage, the better to hide in the bushes and not get taken by a hawk. One day last weekend when I was sitting out here I suddenly had four or five of these little critters fly into the vines around one of the support poles, not two feet away from me. I was confused and surprised, but then one of the aforementioned hawks (probably a red-shouldered hawk, possibly a Cooper’s hawk) came busting by over my head, through the patio under the roof, and out the other side at about Mach 3. (Cool!!) He went hungry on that dive.
The females are not only more drab, they’re also much quieter. They have three or four little chirps that they use, but none of the complex birdsong of the males and at much lower volume.
That whole thing about the male of the species being colorful, brash, bold, and loud? It’s not just a cliche.