Now it is morning and I have the 9-11 shift in the hatchery again. It is very hot so I have moved my chair away from the hatchery to be under a tree. Above me is a chatty black bird with yellow eyes and a fiercely sturdy straight-pointed black beak that looks good for ripping fruit. I can tell that I am in his territory. He is about 12 inches long. His voice is like a siren, “whoooooop” that starts out low and goes to high. And then “drrrr, drrr, drrr,” sing-song-y, and then just “pck,pck,pck,” and more. His repertory is extensive. He might be in the redwing blackbird or cowbird family. When I get back to the station I will check out the bird identification book and see what it is. He was shy of the camera and me.
Night visitor. Guess who came to visit between 3am and 7am? Major predator.
I put my hand there so you could see how big the prints were. I bet the canines were just as large!
On another note: You would not believe how cool it is the watch the night sky for 6 hours straight!! We faced the Pacific so watched the Milky Way above us at 9pm travel down to the horizon by 3am. Orion was there, too, so we put him to bed and watched the southern cross and Scorpio rise. We saw about 10 shooting stars. Phenomenal!