Life at the Cricket Field
Canada Geese: They were one of the first birds I encountered closely after caged birds and I have always liked them. I carried a sick fledgling out of the park in my arms and got it and a few others to rehab as well as a swan.
These birds have not been treated kindly by humans, yet they have the potential to be quickly tamed. I recommend the Geese of Beaver Bog by Bernd Heinrich who wrote a fascinating book after exploring the lives of the Canada Geese on his bog and getting to know them up close and personal.
This goose photo starts some photos that tell the story below which ends at the photo with starlings and geese. I've only spent a small amount of time at the cricket field and so much occurs.
A. 2 geese landed near 4 geese and a non-physical argument occurs. Eventually the 2 flew off. It's a big field. I saw once saw 2 geese get into the most brutal altercation once at Marine Park. I have a picture of it in the geese section but it does not show how violent a real fight is. Usually they decide not to fight.
B. During the hour and a half I was at the Cricket Field, the first raptor attack of the day was a wild one. My photo shows it diving straight towards earth. A kestrel that spooked all the starlings and sparrows. It shot around the above the field so quickly it needs a slo -motion review. It was soon gone and crows arrived. About 15 crows appeared from nowhere and started going through the trees one by one looking for the kestrel. They looked like human police they appeared to be so organized. Impressive birds.
C. A teriffic chase all of a sudden right over my head with both Sharp-shin Hawk and Starling executing hair pin turns after the upward climb pictured. The sharp-shin trying to grab starling who somehow gets away. It was beautiful to see the amazing flying these 2 birds can do. Much respect to the smaller hawk and to the starling who got away.
D. An Osprey heading out to water passes over the field and panics the starlings. The Canada Geese vocalize when the raptors pass, alerting each other but not moving.
D. Starlings were the only birds on the Cricket Field that moment besides the Canada Geese and sparrows at the edges of the field along with kinglets and yellow-rumps. I included the last photo to show how small birds will eat along side of the geese. They feel protected and they may be. I have never seen a goose bite a small bird.