We know she’s around because the little birds disappear. When it’s still as death out there, the Huntress is in the area. Nobody peeps, nobody moves.
Normal snowy morning
I have the "after Artemis" photo, but can't get it to load. Maybe tomorrow.
Scoresheet: Artemis, 5; Starlings, 0. I blew it yesterday, kept scanning her favorite trees after she disappeared, when she was apparently on the ground a good part of the afternoon. I went out to lock up the chickens and found the evidence. A drift of grayish feathers, blood spot on snow under the lilac bush, and two disembodied feet. Starling again. I saw few all day, except the ones I flushed from the chicken coop, but she found one! Usually she leaves the beak behind, a telltale sign, but I didn’t find it this time. Maybe she was still working on the carcass and took what was left with her.
Detached starling feathers, by the way, really don’t suggest starling at first. They’re quite gray, most aren’t shiny, and they have an edge of tan, which I guess provides the speckled look that gives them their association with stars. At last we’ve discovered what they’re good for: feeding Artemis!
One thing, on the internet at least, leads to many others. Here are some wonderful sites about birds for more snowy morning reading.
- The Birdwatching Adventures of Sharon (see her main page too)
- Ramblings and Adventures in Birding by Gwyn
- Bootstrap Analysis: Chronicles and Musings of an Urban Field Ecologist, by Nuthatch
- Protecting wild nature where we live (don’t know much about this organization, but I like the concept!)
- I and the Bird, a collaborative newsletter
All for now—today I have to catch up on work!