As I was walking Maggie this afternoon I was striding down my trail when I was suddenly confronted by a scruffy looking monster standing on two legs, staring at me with its mouth open. The inside was a bright orange and it had hard, sharp dangerous lips!
Oh wait. Maybe I was the two-legged monster since I was definitely the larger beast. Can you find my "monster?"
Did you find the little beak poking out of the grass? I nearly stepped on it- probably would have if it hadn't had its mouth open. The bright orange lining caught my eye. It caught Maggie's eye too. I was afraid that Maggie would think it was a fine plaything.
So I scooped up the little bird, while trying to get my camera turned on with the other hand and keep Maggie away. Meanwhile, of course, someone was making terrific screeches and clucks and squawkings nearby. I was a bit busy and couldn't find the mom, despite the loud protests. Was it a robin? Those babies are kind of spotted like this. The size seemed about right.
Wait! I just got a glimpse of mom!
Do you know what it is? You've seen this bird here before, but never like this.
It's a brown thrasher, that mild-mannered bird of the hedges and edges- but not when distressed over a perceived threat to her baby. I wasn't sure if she would charge me, but she was seriously torn between staying away from me and going to the baby bird.
I got a long series of pictures that show sections of mama- an open beak, a widely spread tail, an "evil" eye, but she always tried to be ferocious and yet protected.
It was an amazing encounter! I love the brown thrashers Toxostoma rufum, and wouldn't hurt one for the world, but she didn't know that. I put the baby down in the grass, off the path, grabbed the dog and headed for home. If no other predator discovers the baby before it can really fly all should be well.
|See Brown and Gray, but the Good Kind |
See Brown Thrasher in My Yard