Monday, April 19, 2010

A Week of Birds

As I detailed in my earlier entry, last Wednesday, Steph found a Brown Creeper that had collided with the windows of the NMU art building. Tiny and weightless, it was incredibly hard to photograph. The pictures I took, despite trying to portray the bird from a neutral point of view, still feel very sad; perhaps it is because I know exactly how the creeper died -- and how needless and avoidable the death could have been.

April Brown Creeper II

April Brown Creeper VI

April Brown Creeper IV

A couple days later, while walking along a path in Marquette's Fit Strip, Steph and I happened upon something quite unexpected -- a dead Ring-Billed Gull, right on the trail. The bodies of gulls are a rather common find along the beach, but not in the forest. The gull we found had died quite recently; its feathers were strewn for several yards alongside the trail. I flipped the body over, and there was a large patch of feathers missing. It's quite possible that the gull was attacked by another bird, perhaps a crow or a raven. Nothing was eaten.

Second April Gull III

Second April Gull IV

Indeed, the gull had died so recently that its eyes were intact. It was quite jarring when, upon a closer view of the body, I saw its yellow eye, staring right back at me.

Yesterday evening was the find that truly saddened and angered me: a Black-Capped Chickadee, dead, resting on the ground by the back entrance of the art building. It, too, had collided with the windows.

April Chickadee III

April Chickadee IV

The chickadee's tiny body was still warm.

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