Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The cruelest month?

T.S. Eliot wrote "April is the cruelest month," but in our SF neighborhood, May has been a harsh and deadly time for this year's barely-fledged sparrows and finches. For a few consecutive days I found sparrow wings (and a head) in the garden, which I figured had become a regular meal stop for a sharp-shinned or Cooper's hawk. Then 2 days ago I was out walking with our son and saw a scrub jay attacking and carrying off a young house sparrow, right on the sidewalk! I've seen scrub jays eating acorns in oak woodlands and food from our bird feeder, but I didn't realize they are omnivores. Nature is not always pretty, even (especially?) in the city.


Unknown said...

Hi Jane,
My name is Andrea Koskey, I'm a reporter with the San Francisco Examiner.I'm working on a story about the state parks closure and I'm looking for people who hike around the Bay Area and I came across your blog postings. I was wondering if you'd be interested in talking about some of the places you go. Please contact me some time today if you have a moment at 415-596-9786. I look forward to speaking with you. Thanks,
Andrea Koskey, reporter
San Francisco Examiner

steph said...

Hey there, I found your blog via the Bay Area hiking trails database.
The other week I saw a scrub jay fly off with a baby hummingbird in its mouth, followed by one very angry/frightened/panicked parent! It was one of those "wish I had my slingshot" moments, which is embarassing to mention but in my defense, when I was 5 my dad taught me to kill the House Sparrows that I found invading our Purple Martin houses!

All American Packaging said...

Eliot's poem, a landmark of twentieth century poetry, was published in 1922 to a fire-storm of reviews—some praising the work for capturing the confusion of the "modern" age following World War I and some cursing its difficult, discontinuous voice