Monday, December 14, 2009

Feederwatch, week 5

Between some rainy weather and being committed to various other activities (shopping, doing up the holiday cards, etc.), I can't say that I have much exciting news to relate about this past weekend's FeederWatch session. Bird traffic remained pretty steady.

I did see one thing that struck me as odd, though. This Carolina Wren was hopping around on the deck early Saturday morning, but it was hopping in a strange way. It almost looked as if it had no legs. It looked like it was hopping about on its tummy. I even saw it fidget sideways a bit to fluff out some feathers, and still saw no legs. This is not possible, is it? For a bird to have no legs and survive? I'm sure there must be an explanation for what I saw, one that involves the bird still having its legs. Unfortunately I was only able to get one photo of the bird "sitting" on the deck. It eventually hopped away, once again seemingly on it's stomach, to a spot where I was no longer able to see it. Later in the day I saw a Carolina Wren hanging on the suet feeder, in a perfectly normal fashion with perfectly normal-looking feet and legs.

Here I cropped in on the bird a bit more. It was only 12 degrees outside, so maybe it just had its feathers super fluffed out to keep warm. I don't know, though. Something was fishy about that bird. I will be keeping my eye out for future glimpses of such strange happenings.

We had some pretty steady rain Sunday morning. The squirrels got quite wet. I felt bad for them.

Feederwatch tally of highest number of individuals counted from 12/12-12/13:
Mourning Dove14
Red-bellied Woodpecker1
Downy Woodpecker1
Hairy Woodpecker1
Carolina/Black-capped Chickadee5
Tufted Titmouse4
White-breasted Nuthatch2
Carolina Wren1
White-throated Sparrow1
Dark-eyed Junco1
Northern Cardinal5
American Goldfinch6

As always, happy birding!


kaholly said...

Hi Heather, I have seen the same legless dance and came to the conclusion they were just keeping their legs warm against the bitter cold. Great shots. I'm visiting S.TX for Christmas and am enjoying the different and varied birdlife, altho' this big city life isn't for me. -karen

Kristen said...

That certainly is strange! Any chance the feet are in the space between the deck boards? It seems silly that it would be hopping from that position though. Poor little guy looks like he needs a scarf!

Phyllis said...

hmmm - while I think it would be difficult for a little wren to survive w/o legs, you just never know. Lots of strange things happen. And they have such very long legs that I'd think you would have seen part of them

Earlier this year I stopped for a wren on my gravel road, as it wouldn't move. It was a fledgling and it's eyes were "closed" permanently; the slit never developed. So you just never know...

Heather said...

Karen - Yes, I thought about it just being a way of keeping the legs warm, too. Hope the city life doesn't get to you too much. Are there any parks around that you can go to at least?

Kristen - Feet could be between the deck boards, but that's doubtful b/c I saw it like this smack dab in the middle of a piece of decking, not just in between slats. I think a scarf would be darling on him!!

Phyllis - It's true, you just never know. That's an interesting story about your blind wren. I wonder how long that bird survived?