Thursday, November 18, 2010

Louisville Arboretum

Little ol' Louisville has an arboretum. It isn't as fancy as say Denver's Arboretum, but is a nice little area in an open space near my work. I had a few minutes to waste after a haircut, so I stopped by on the off chance that something was hanging out in the now bare trees. I had heard the Blue Jays in the pines as I arrived, but I looped wide to get them on my return with the sun at my back.

At first the only birds in the open were House Finches.

This little lady has her cherry red lipstick on. They were really working on the leftovers of some decorative cherry tree's crop. They look like maraschinos to me.

As I worked back towards the lot a lone brave Blue Jay tolerated my presence as it flipped through the wood chips on the ground.

I'm not sure it was finding much, but it was working hard, swinging its bill from side to side and flipping a chip on each pass.

I realized that the bird had several companions in the pines, one of which I captured in the lead photo. Blue Jays, along with the other corvids, have a reputation for intelligence, and did not remain perched on an open branch of a tree when a long lens is aimed in their direction. I was trying to catch one exposed, when a bird exploded from a closer pine and passed within inches of me a knee level. I instantly thought it was another jay, but it buzzed an American Robin on the ground and then perched atop a barren sapling. A glance at the perched bird was all I needed, an American Kestrel.
I was amazed that it would perch in a pine just feet off the ground, that it would even bother to buzz a Robin, and that it seemingly used me for cover. Always something new out there to be seen. For a small suburban arboretum this sure packed a big punch.

1 comment:

  1. You ended up with some nice shots! There is a Jay who visits here sometimes, but I've not been able to get a good shot at him.

    I love that Kestrel photo! Two summers ago there was a nest of them in a cavity in an old cottonwood tree a half mile up the road and I got to see the young being raised and did manage to get some good photos of them too. That was a thrill!