Life in the wild is all or nothing. Creatures either live or die. Someone once pointed out that the wild creatures living near Union Bay are professionals. Amateurs do not survive long when it comes to hunting and hiding, even if they are living in a city.
Your challenge this week is to look carefully at the first photo and the next three. Look as if your life depended on what you see. Then we will take a closer look at what is in each photo and you can determine for yourself how you think you might do in the wild.
In the first photo the two crows are obvious...
... but how about the red-tailed hawk in the lower part of the photo that the crows are harassing.
Yesterday, the hawk had been sitting, watching and waiting in a nearby tree. Something must have moved near the ground as the hawk swiftly flew down into the brush and began peering closely. When the hawk moved the crows immediately stopped feeding and came to drive the hawk away.
Oddly, the crows had been pecking at the ice. At first it looked as though they were removing small seeds that were embedded in the ice.
At a second glance it actually seemed like they were breaking the seeds against the ice. Either way it seemed a bit odd and unusual to see and hear a couple dozen crows pecking away at the ice.
From a photographic point of view the black of the crows against the bright reflecting ice was a real challenge. In the photos above I could get the ice in focus but no definition in the black of the crows.
In this photo I did better with the crow but lost almost all the definition in the ice. I am curious if anyone has a good solution to this challenge.
The crows kept after the hawk...
...until it moved out of the brush to a higher limb. However even that was not good enough.
In the end the hawk had to leave the area completely.
In the second photo the beaver's lodge is obvious...
...but did you notice the heron perched on the lodge? It is interesting that the beaver does not discriminate against milled wood. It will use wood of any type to construct its home.
In the third photo the sparrow was dead center and in focus but none the less if you were just walking by and not searching hard it would be easy to miss.
In the fourth photo a yellow-rumped warbler is out on the ice searching for food.
It must be finding something.
I caught a few photos the first time I passed the area before the warbler flew off in to the brush.
Later when I returned the warbler was back in the same area and hard at work once again. I hope you enjoyed this week's challenge.
Have a great day on Union Bay...where nature lives in the city!
Odds and Ends:
Along the way yesterday I passed a few other birds...
...a marsh wren (not a bewick's wren, see Harsi's comment below)...
...a house finch or on closer inspection a crossblll (Thank you, Twink ) and...
...a golden-crown sparrow.
Also earlier in the week on a warm day Elvis (or a relative) was spotted near the mouth of Arboretum Creek. This winter it has seemed as though the pileated woodpeckers do not venture this far away from Interlaken when the weather is cold. It could be fun to see if this theory holds any water.