Sunday, March 13, 2011
OK, so they aren't cats, but it's the females fighting!
Scarlett (named after Scarlett O'Hara) is a wild, unmated female who showed up about three weeks ago. Apparently she wants Rusty, and she wants him bad. Her level of aggression has escalated from hooting later in the morning than she should and starting earlier in the afternoon than is wise (she gets mobbed by crows a lot), to an all-out fray yesterday.
Starting around 1 PM (yes...early in the afternoon!), Scarlett showed up in the yard hooting. She landed on the cage many times, including on the "rain roof"--an area of slats covered with screen to allow the rain to fall through. Rusty and Iris were beside themselves, hooting like crazy, flying around, and holding their feathers very compressed with ear tufts up.
Eventually Scarlett switched over to squawks and started landing on the ground, trying to find a way into the cage. She landed on the braces of the cage. She was doing anything to get in.
She even flew into and hung on the chain link on the west side of the cage, where she could see inside. Iris was the one who met her challenge by flying at the chain link to attack her. Thankfully there is screen on the outside of the cage and chain link on the inside, so they couldn't get at each other. WOW!!
This disruption sure isn't helping nesting efforts. Despite the daily ruckus, Rusty and Iris keep mating, Rusty feeds Iris, and they dig in the nest. Early this morning it even looked like Iris tried to preen Rusty, even though he wasn't interested.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of "As the Nest Box Turns."