This is the time of year when change happens – not just leaves turning color, days getting shorter, and nights feeling cooler. Some of the wild critters around the Funny Farm are packing their bags and leaving. Our cliff swallows, tree swallows and violet greens gathered one more time this week to snack on the last insect hatches before heading south. It’s cool to watch all the new fledglings and their parents swoop in the air for one last bug snack before they embark on their long journey.
And there is often drama in all the frenzy. This is a Wilson’s Warbler, a bird we hear but rarely see. They nest in the thickets of vine maple on the hillside around our house. Like the pasture-dwelling swallows, they raise their young here then head off to the way-south for winter. Not so this guy.
This little one won’t be flying south. But though its life is over early, another member of the Funny Farm found an opportunity for a final snack. Marvin snapped this photo of a praying mantis hovering over the little body. He wondered at first why this guy was interested in a bird? Then he noticed the flies landing on the feathery body. Wo. What an excellent opportunist.