Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Could I Forget Catbirds?

I spent a few hours at Carpenter's Woods in Philadelphia this morning, primarly looking for migrating wood warblers, but actually happy with anything I found. And of course what I found most of were catbirds. In this part of the country they may be the most seen and heard bird in the woods. I know that the Red-eyed Vireo was once reported to have that honor but today I think the Catbird might win.

In any case the catbird is one more species that feeds on Devil's Walkingstick. Catbirds and robins both crash landed in the fruits this morning. Since my primary purpose in being outside is to see and draw birds it's enough of a distraction to bring a camera along. A video camera is just not up for consideration. Nonetheless it would be interesting to put a video camera on the fruit of Devil's Walkingstick and see what happens.

Most entries seem like crash landings. This might be partially due to the fact that the fruits, though a huge spray, are actually tiny in themselves. And at this time of the year most of the feeders are big: thrushes, catbirds, woodpeckers. Because they seem to crashland there's a lot of commotion when one of these bigger birds lands and then they get buried in the spray of berries. I have to assume that all of them are eating the fruit and that there is no chance that anything else, like insect-eating, is going on. But I can't positively say that.

Another new bird today was the Northern Cardinal. A Carolina Wren was in the near vicinity but I never actually saw him on the Walkingstick.

One topic for another day: Aralia racemosa. We have some growing in our front yard, a free plant from Morris Arboretum for members. It has a spray of berries, like Aralia Spinosa, but I've yet to see any birds on it. And I don't know it's relationship to Devil's Walkingstick, or Aralia spinosa. As I said, topics for another day.

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