Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Backyard Bird Challenge Check-In
Our Backyard Bird Challenge is going well. We've been a lot more diligent lately about looking and have come up with a nice list--twelve so far! Only thirty eight to go. We're keeping a tally in the sidebar to the right. We haven't seen anything strange or exotic, but that's okay. And we're really trying to watch bird behavior of the birds we see over and over again. I've seen a few extra that we don't have on the list, as I really want the kids to see them before we add them.
An easy one to identify was the Great Horned Owl. The one in the photo above posed so nicely for a photo. Then it took off and flew across the yard. The chickens screamed (they had had a scare a couple weeks previously from a Great Horned Owl that we witnessed). I ran over, but saw the owl continue into the next yard. The rooster pecked at the ground, seemingly unconcerned, and one of the hens wandered. I didn't see the other hen, but didn't think much of it.
Until later, when my husband told me that he and Desert Boy had been out looking for a hen, as when Desert Boy closed the chicken coop, there was only the rooster and one hen.
I started wondering if the owl had killed the chicken, but hadn't flown off with it. And it was all my fault, because I had made the owl fly because I had gotten too close to take a photo. Of course, I didn't know what had really happened. Maybe skunks were back in the area. And there's been a mountain lion sighting not far from our house, so perhaps the lion had gotten a chicken (although our dog Henry hasn't been barking a lot, so that didn't seem too likely).
Losing any pets is not fun, and I was feeling a little verklempt. As we got ready to go this morning, I opened the garage door, and the hen ran out! What a great way to feel better! I sure do like a happy ending to the story.