Thursday, October 2, 2014

Attack of the MOBL

Hey! Lookit. Finally put some birds on the blog. These mountain bluebirds ended up being neighbors for a few days in the Ruby Mountains (Nevada). Did a 4 day trip in the midst of our weird sickness (we're thinking it was a lingering water borne thing? That's a whole other story though). We were forced to kind of wimp out and set up a base camp and do day hikes because of the constant puke-it-out feelings, but, we were able to grin and bear it and hike in far enough to get away from everyone and had a lake all to ourselves, so it all worked out in the end. Also, pikas were only 5 minutes away!
So these bluebirds, unbeknownst to us, had a nest close to where we set the tent up.  Both male and female were making constant food carries to the nest cavity, which was pretty cool. Luckily, they didn't seem to mind we were nearby. This MOBL pair were total badasses. I watched them attack a chipmunk and golden-mantled ground squirrel at least ten times. Whenever one of them would get too close, one of the bluebirds would just try to annihilate them-it was a fairly vicious event.  I was sitting near the nest tree at one point and the chipmunk ran across my lap and the male bluebird landed on my knee, then proceeded to chase the chipmunk around me - yes, bluebird and chipmunk were running over and around me. It was kind of, well, it was kind of awesome. 
One day, (and oh do I wish I had a photo of this...) we saw the female fly out of the cavity with a dead nestling. She placed it about 15 meters from the nest tree in some tall grass. Not sure why it had to die, but I would guess there were too many nestlings, just because the other MOBL nests I have seen, there have been 5 nestlings and things seem to get get a little crowded. Only the heartiest survive kinda thing. Sucky. It was a bummer and I of course cried. Because I cry about everything, I'm not going to deny it. (Seriously, blogger doesn't let me center photos I move anymore...does anyone have any insight on this? It's making me a little bit crazy) Nature Notes

9 comments:

Nate McGowan said...

Awesome stuff. The tragedy of the nestling is nicely balanced by the bird and chipmunk on your lap.

Sometimes blogger gets really screwy with the pics and I can't fix it. I either have to put them in off centered or copy and paste text and redo the whole thing. Pain.

Andrea said...

sounds like a sword in the stone moment or something!

Mary Cromer said...

Oh I would have wept as well, how sad, but you are right. The ones in the very bottom of the nest, sometimes get not enough air, or food as it is delivered. Blogger and I were enemies for nearly a year and then out of seemingly nowhere, it all works again. Maybe try enlarging the images to fill in space and see how it looks/works...

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I would have cried too! Nature is such a blessing in all ways. But still, things like this to witness would be heart wrenching.

Karen said...

Cool birds. It's wonderful to be that close to critters!

fredamans said...

I love the blue hues on the bird!

Felicia said...

beautiful birds. wonderful memories but sad one had to die.

Pam said...

I know I have to make sure to not only hit center for picture but the line I'm putting it on has to be centered as well too I think. Great badass bird story!

Rambling Woods said...

I hope you are over that yucky thing?.... Oh it seems that my experience with wildlife mirrors your own... Big highs and way cool ...followed by sad and tears...but the highs keep you going.... Michelle