Wednesday, June 29, 2016

6.29.16  Bird Nerd Moment - Sam Diego's outdoor patio
Hyannis, MA

What a PERFECT summer night on Cape Cod!  It happened to be the end of the baseball season in our area as well, with all teams from the district converging on one of the local ball fields.  After the awards and the announcements and the endless games of catch...we were pretty hungry and we allowed our young baseball player to choose where we would go out to supper.  He decided on a family favorite, Sam Diego's in Hyannis.  What I forgot to consider on the way there was the weather being a factor on where we would get to sit.  We ALWAYS opt for the outdoor patio!  It is so comfortable out there, and between the atmosphere of the festive restaurant itself and the well-groomed landscaping,  you don't really notice that you're on a very busy traffic corner.

We could easily see the local gulls slowly flapping their way back to their nearby rooftop nesting grounds.  Many of the local businesses that have flat roofs have been dealing with an over populous gull colony.  There are no predators on the roof!  They thrive up there and are rarely disturbed.  

As we were sitting and enjoying our dinner, I, naturally, cannot help notice bird sounds that occur when I'm anywhere.  I am particularly distracted when it's a bird sound that I cannot identify.  My curiosity takes over, and I do my best to figure out who is making what sound.  It was an interesting sight to see once the two birds came into view along side the patio.  Brown-headed cowbirds (an invasive species) have somehow decided that laying an egg in someone else's nest and then taking off leaving it to be  warmed, cared for, hatched by & fed by another species, is advantageous.  They are a non-parenting species.  I've seen it in action with a poor, exhausted looking Chipping Sparrow in my own driveway a couple years ago.  Here on this night in Hyannis, I got to see it again... this time, camera ready! (miraculously!)

There was this incessant younger sounding bird who was badgering a smaller bird, this time a Song Sparrow.  The Brown-headed Cowbird juvenile was chirping and begging and squatting down in the "FEED ME!" pose, over and over and over again.  I couldn't help but feel for the frazzled Song Sparrow, who fed this comparitively oversized youngster, over and over and over again.  This time, I got photos... Sorry Song Sparrow.  Better luck, next brood!  (double click photos to enlarge)

Song Sparrow foster parent on the left
Brown-headed Cowbird juvenile on the right

Happy Birding!

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