Getting Anxious

June is making more frequent nighttime visits to the nest and these visits are lasting longer. Last night, she made three visits and two of them lasted for more than an hour. On both occasions, she spent the first fifteen minutes rearranging things inside before climbing up to sit in the doorway. This compares to the one-minute visits that were typical last year. All of the visits have been non-vocal and suspect that the silence is due to the Great Horned Owl that I heard hooting on Wednesday. Ward and June usually confine their hooting to the daytime when a great horned owl is around.
The Ruffed Grouse pictured here easily wins the prize as the most awkward of Ward and June's neighbors. It always seems to be leaping for a berry that is just out of reach as it skulks through the underbrush near the owl's nest box. It fares no better when it is attempting to reach for a seed high in an birch tree while balancing precariously on a small branch -- looks like an elephant trying to balance on a tight-rope. The Ruffed Grouse is a little big for Ward and June, or the Coopers Hawks, but is prime game for the goshawks that occasionally visit the area. An even larger bird -- a Wild Turkey -- wandered through Ward and June's area shortly after this picture was taken. It's amazing that such a variety of large birds can manage to coexist in the same territory.

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