I was wrongly accused. Jeered. In short order a mob of 15 or so individuals had formed, seemingly from nowhere. They gathered in groups around me. The more aggressive of them would wait for my back to be turned and then rush at me, only to retreat as I turned toward them.
Now, wrongly marked, I’m yelled at whenever I’m seen in the neighborhood.
Yep, all true, and it started a few days ago in Kimber Park.
It began shortly after I noticed a pair of wrens chasing away a fox squirrel on the Kimber Park open space. They were definitely defending their space. Quick, small, frenetic, they were tough to photograph. Here they are (click on any photo to enlarge it):
This was a new bird for me to find on the open space, a Bewick’s Wren. These two were ravenous, grabbing bug after bug. Odds are very good that they have a nest nearby — I hope to locate it soon.
After finding the wrens I went to check on the White-Tailed Kite nest in Kimber Park. The kites have built a nest near the Mission Hills Tennis Club entrance. This is the second kite nest here in about 6 months, with the new nest a short distance from their previous nest. I’ve seen the kites sitting on the nest and wanted to check on their progress.
Once I was nearby, though, I heard another Bewick’s Wren, this one calling from the top of a tall Redwood. As I walked near the base of the Redwood, a pair of American Crows stealthily flew into the Redwood. They were at first interested in the singing wren, but then they noticed me.
That’s when things went wrong. A hidden Western Scrub Jay suddenly appeared among the Redwood branches behind the lower crow and fiercely jabbed it in the back with its beak.
The crow gave out a squawk, but apparently thought I had somehow hurt it from a distance. Guilt by association! Here he is, glaring at me.
The crow began making alert calls over and over.
Within a few minutes a murder of crows had formed.
The injured crow began repeated dive-bombing me.
Yikes! I noticed that one of the White-Tailed Kites was now airborne, apparently concerned about the many crows, a natural enemy of the kites.
I now became worried that the many crows formed a danger to the nearby nesting kites. 😦
It was time to go. I was going to have to check the kite nest another time. Unfortunately, I seem to have been falsely accused and now remain a marked man among the local crow populance. If you know anything about crow intelligence, it could be some time before that is changed around. Check out this NY Times article discussing how crows can identify and remember individual people: Friend or Foe?
Another day, another wildlife adventure in Kimber Park.
Are you a Fremont resident and registered voter? If so, you can help preserve Fremont’s open spaces for future generations by signing the Protect Fremont Open Space petition. Stop by one of the fixed signature collecting sites, found at Where to Sign. Hurry, time is short!