Monday, June 25, 2007

Mr. Macho Bird

Summer Tanager

We've had a pair of summer tanagers nesting near the house for a while now. I really didn't keep up with when I first saw them, but at this point their chicks have hatched and are probably getting close to fledging. However, just a couple of days ago, the male tanager suddenly discovered the mirrors on an old car parked nearby. Throughout most of a day, all he wanted to do was fight with this rival for his territory. I finally draped some rags over the mirrors so he wouldn't waste so much energy in combat with himself. He's got a family to feed.

The draped mirrors have put and end to most of the fighting, though I have noticed him sitting on the mirror brackets several times. I reckon he's just waiting for his opponent to emerge from under the cloth. The male tanager has also had several quick bouts with his reflection in the house windows. That reflection doesn't seem sharp enough to keep him interested for long -- just long enough to get our dogs upset about the bird that's attacking our house.

I really have no idea why the male tanager has suddenly become so territorial.