Friday, June 11, 2010

Western Tanager Chick Down

We've had a series of intense winds and rain storms.  Wednesday morning when Marly and I went out during a break in the storms we discovered a baby Western Tanager on the walkway.  Marly was very respectful of this baby.  She did a very good imitation of a Pointer, just looking at it very intently.  She didn't bark or growl or poke it with her nose.  We watched it for a moment and then I took Marly in, grabbed my camera, and took a series of photos in quick succession.  When we first looked at it, it's head was up, but as I was snapping pictures its head drooped and it's wings began to look less useful.  I hoped if we left it alone, mom or pop would come to the rescue.  Next time we went out it was on its side and seemed to be rapidly dying.  Today I'll bury this baby.  I'm hoping that since Western Tanagers lay from one to five eggs, there will be surviving fledgelings.  This baby looked big enough to fly.  It's wings were very sturdy looking.  I can't imagine what brought it down.  Yes, there were winds and yes, there was rain.  But somehow I can't imagine that sturdy little bird getting downed by wind and rain.  I'll bury it today.  I think it's a boy and would have grown to look like its magnificent daddy.