I wasn’t ten minutes into my walk today when the urgent crrrrroak! of a Fish Crow stopped me in the middle of the street. Suddenly, scores of crows tumbled through the air from their morning perches. A half-dozen Blue Jays appeared and even a robin. Everyone was in full cry and flying toward the same spruce tree in a neighbor’s back yard.
You know what THAT means! This is a good sign if you are a birder; not-so-good if you are the bird trying to hide.
I watched as they flowed into the tree. What was it going to be this time? A Great-horned Owl? A Red-tailed Hawk? One of the Red-shouldered Hawks that have been hanging around and helping themselves to birdy snacks from our feeders? You just never know what will spring out from the crush of a corvid mob. There are few who can remain perched and tolerate the pecks and threats of over 30+ upset birds. Make no mistake; they wanted this thing out of the neighborhood.
I didn’t have to wait long. Within a minute, the slender shape of an accipter with short, rounded wings slipped from its foliage cover and glided across the street. Quick wing beats sent the Sharp-shinned Hawk into the sky within seconds and out of range of the mobbing crowd.
You can always count on seeing really good birds when you don’t have the binoculars with you.