[Tweeters] Grosbeak and moth show

Rob Sandelin nwnature at verizon.net
Sat Aug 28 11:52:17 PDT 2010

My dining area window looks into the branches of a good sized cedar tree.
This morning my attention was caught by movement of a Juv. Black-headed
grosbeak who was hopping about on a branch and darting along in a determined
fashion. It was chasing a moth along a branch. The moth flew up, and so did
the Grosbeak and just as the bird was about to snap up the moth, somehow
the moth reversed course and came out below the bird. The moth headed into a
thicket of branches and the Grosbeak turned and bounced with its feet off a
branch, then took off after it, like a swimmer kicking off on the edge of a
pool. Again, just as the birds beak was open and ready to grab it, somehow
the moth eluded the bird and reversed course along the branch. The bird
wheeled around but the moth had landed and the bird flew up a couple of
branches, perched, looking very intently all around for its elusive prey.

>From my vantage point I could see both the moth and the bird. The moths

protective coloration worked and even though it was just below the bird and
almost certainly visible, the bird missed it. After a minute or so the bird
dropped down and began poking around on the ground under the empty feeder.
Its been an hour now and the moth is still in the same place, no doubt
relieved to be out of the fray.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Snohomish County
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