Thursday, April 20, 2006

Neighborhood Birds

My girlfriend and I took a little walk around Capitol Hill this afternoon. Since this is a thoroughly urbanized neighborhood, only the usual birds were around: starlings, house sparrows, a single crow. A few white-throated sparrows are still hanging around in the local squares. One mockingbird was carrying a stick, presumably for a nearby nest. I am still not seeing chimney swifts around here, even though there is a migration concentration point nearby. The succession of cold fronts is probably holding back the tide of migrants for the moment.

There was one dramatic non-bird incident on the walk. Two squirrels were chasing each other about twenty feet up in a tree. Whether this was a mating chase or a territorial battle, I do not know. Both lost their balance or grip on the thin branches and fell to the ground. One apparently landed on its feet. The other landed on its back on the hood of a car and bounced onto the ground. Amazingly it seemed to have survived without major injury, since it then scampered across the street. I thought it would have broken its back.