Jun 11 2012

Pay No Attention

Published by at 6:30 am under Bird Behavior,Schenley Park

In Schenley Park on Saturday I found this not-quite-fledgling Baltimore oriole perched low near the trail.  I noticed him only because his father made a warning sound and leapt away from the area.

The father bird distracted me (on purpose) but I remembered where he’d made the sound and looked when he left.  His baby was among the leaves, immobile and stoic.  The little bird didn’t move a muscle.  He didn’t make a sound. His survival depended on it.

When I saw him I stepped way back and used binoculars to view him. I knew not to stare.

Only a few days ago a young man had asked me about a nest of baby birds he’d found in a shrub in his yard.  Day after day he had moved the leaves to look at the babies.  Then one day the nest was knocked down and all the babies gone without a trace.  He knew they were too young to fly and wondered where they went. Sadly the young man’s attention probably revealed the nest to a predator.

I didn’t want my attention to end this tiny oriole’s life so I quickly snapped his picture and hurried down the trail.

On my return trip three hours later I didn’t pause but a quick glance assured me his strategy was working. He was still perched, motionless. He looked like a leaf.

Pay no attention.

(photo by Kate St. John)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Pay No Attention”

  1. Steve Valasekon 11 Jun 2012 at 9:33 am

    oh no, I hope that our looking at a house finch nest in our yucca tree didn’t draw the neighbor’s cats to it. We saw the babies leave the nest, but no sign of them a day or 2 later. It was neat how they put the nest on one of the long spear-shaped leaves on our tree.

    babies: http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_valasek/7346343604/
    papa: http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_valasek/7346343796/

  2. Kate St. Johnon 11 Jun 2012 at 10:16 am

    No problem! If they left the nest on their own you had no affect on their well-being.

  3. Steve Valasekon 12 Jun 2012 at 10:24 am

    Ok, good, thanks.

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