Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Local Wildlife: White-Winged Dove Kicks Grackle Butt!

We found this little samurai in training in the front yard last night. Don't be fooled, there beats a soldier's heart!

A few weeks ago I was riding home from work on the electric motorcycle - silent vehicles are great  for sneaking up on urban wildlife - and I saw something extraordinary! I saw a white-winged dove getting all Jackie Chan on a male grackle. It was awesome! The bird of peace has apparently had enough! In short order the dove had pounced upon the grackle three times and the grackle went running (flying) for the hills!

I was in awe! I knew I had seen something I would never see again! It may sound stupid, but I find moments like that strangely life affirming. So I did what any life-affirmed person should do, I went and told everyone who would listen. And the people around me looked at me like I was crazy.

The following week it happened again, and this time it was in my backyard. It was early on Saturday morning. I was sitting on the back porch drinking coffee and watching a really obnoxious grackle doing his best impersonation of an air-raid siren while sitting on an elm branch. His choice of song turned out to be a little ironic as a white-winged terror dropped from the sky and started flapping and chest bumping. The grackle fled to another tree. The warrior dove followed and attacked again. The grackle fled and the dove came back and serenely perched on the grackle's original spot.

So I shared the story with my wife a little later in the day. And she said, "Oh yeah, I saw that happen the other day too."

And John had seen another instance of it.

I went to shoot photos of Los Swartzes at the park shortly after that, and we saw it happen outside the arboretum. It's not an isolated incident. It's a movement. I think the dove council has voted that they need an image change, and they started the revolution by going after the bullies. It looks like the artist sometimes known as Prince (and the Revolution) is going to have to rewrite his song - This is what it sounds like - Dove War Cry! 

¡Viva la revolucĂ­on de la paloma!

May the revolution be televised! (I did not find it on youtube yet.)

Bonus link of the day: White-Winged Wikipedia (but no mention of the revolution)