Friday, January 31, 2014

Birding at Mt. Auburn Cemetery

The temperature climbed above 40, the sun was out, it was Friday, and I could not keep working.  I took the afternoon off and jumped in the car to do some birding at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.  I drove slowly through the narrow roads, windows down, listening for birds.  I stopped when I heard the squawking and squeaking of hundreds of European Starlings.  They were filling at least 4 treetops, but shortly after I got out, they all flew off.  I should have taken a video, because the noise was unbelievable!

I enjoyed many beautiful, but common birds.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (male)

 Gray Squirrel (eating sap)

 Northern Cardinal (male)

Northern Cardinal (female)

White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-Throated Sparrow (sigh)
(what a cooperative model)


Brown Creeper

Now, I was just heading back to the car to call it quits, when I noticed a tree just filled with birds:  Black Capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, White-Throated Sparrows, all squawking and hopping from branch to branch.  I couldn't ignore that!   I moved closer to investigate.  They were upset over something, but I couldn't figure out what.  Whatever it was, it had brought them all together to fight it off as brothers.

The magic tree!
(Cardinal, White-Throated Sparrows, Black-Capped Chickadee, and this is only one section)

Then, an opossum walked quickly from under one shrub to another.  I was so surprised that I didn't get its picture!  The birds did not give up their battle cries, so I knew it was still there somewhere.  I looked around the shrub until I caught a glimpse of its little white face.

 Northern Cardinal (he was really mad)

Opossum, the evil intruder
(first live one I've seen since I began blogging)

I read that opossums eat bird eggs, so maybe it is hated by birds for that fact alone.  I don't know.  It's winter now, though and no eggs are at risk.  It almost seemed as if the birds themselves were at risk.  Is an opossum fast enough to kill a bird?  


American Goldfinch
American Robin 2
Black Capped Chickadee 2
Blue Jay 12
Brown Creeper 1
Dark Eyed Junco 15+
Downy Woodpecker 3
European Starlings 200+
Northern Cardinal 6
Red-Bellied Woodpecker 2
Tufted Titmouse 4
White Breasted Nuthatch 2
White-Throated Sparrow 20+
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

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