[midvalleybirds] Ruby-crowned kinglet in Dallas.

Carma Sue Henry cshenry at bywordofmind.com
Mon Mar 9 03:51:07 PDT 2020

Sunday we visited a friend who is moving from Corvallis to a 100+yo house near the center of Dallas, a few houses away from Rickreall Creek.  Previous owner planted an incredible array of natives and exotics in the yard which attract lots of birds. One unusual maple (unkwn spp w tiny sessile flws) is already blooming. As we sat on the patio next to it a Ruby-crowned kinglet came in to protest our presence.  Some maples flowers produce tiny amounts of nectar so it may have come in for that. Unfortunately, there's a large colony of feral cats in their neighborhood who they have seen taking many birds.  Dallas offers a free spay/neuter program for ferals but brings the cats back to the capture site for re-release and, without owners to feed them, they are taking a heavy toll on the birds.  I'm a life-long cat owner with mixed feelings about forcing cats to be cooped up indoors at all times.  Since moving out here in 'the countryside' we seldom let ours out without supervision because he likes to sneak back in with still living mice and voles.  We learned that lesson the hard way. ** Here at home I witnessed the (literal) tail-end of the resident hawk making an attack on the back patio feeder birds.  One mid-sized bird smacked against the wall, which got me to the doors to see if it was OK.  Didn't see it so hope it got away.  But just as I reached the doors the hawk came in between the house and the Spruce at attack angle - its tail and wings spread out; talons spread for a grab. It must have seen me at the glass because it did a quick turn over/around maneuver and took off.  Heard a lot of complaining as it left without a meal. Got a pretty good look at the underside of it's tail and my mental image is of a very rounded tail with about 6-7 very distinct bands.  The Sharped-shinned in Sibley looks to only have about 4-5 bands.  It has re-inforced my tentative id as a Cooper's.  So much to learn!Carma Henry - Logsdon Ridge.

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