18
Apr
14

Seeking Mountain Chickadee

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It was mid March. We got to around 6000 feet before we saw snow in Yosemite National Park. Taking the winding road up to the ski station at Badger pass my shorts seemed somewhat inappropriate. A hasty change of wardrobe enabled a comfortable walk along one of the cross country ski trails. There were very few people around.

Walking among the pines it was eerily quiet. The sort of silence that’s disconcerting. Your own breathing and the snow folding under your boots are the only sounds. We walked for around an hour without hearing or seeing a thing; not even a whisper of bird song, not a call. Nothing.

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I played a tape of Mountain Chickadee. No response. Silence.

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I thought for a while … and played a tape of Northern Pygmy Owl … their nemesis,

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It was as if I had unzipped the cold air and birds came tumbling out. They wanted rid of their perpetrator big time. Manifesting themselves from nowhere Red Breasted Nuthatches, Ruby Crowned Kinglets and of course Mountain Chickadees all came to offer protestation.

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Mountain Chickadee

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