This is one of my Toledo weekends--hooray for the occasional sleet-free weekend in Northwest Ohio! (I realize I should probably be worried about what is probably unnaturally warm weather, but winter and I have become less friendly in recent years.) Yesterday and today were actually nice enough for wandering around Old Orchard, the university-area neighborhood with 1930's houses that I covet. (It really isn't fair that a person can only live one life at a time, and that the little matter of the job intervenes in architectural fantasies. At least my other half is renting in the area, so I get to visit regularly.)
The wildlife amusement for the weekend has been mobs--of birds, fortunately, rather than some sort of frightening being. Yesterday, I arrived home to the sound of multiple crows cawing and looked up to see four crows harassing a smallish hawk--what kind, I couldn't tell. If four can be termed a mob, they were definitely mobbing the poor raptor, chasing it out of the neighborhood, a pocket woodland adjoining an elementary school. Since corvids definitely aren't nesting in February, I was curious about the mob behavior, which I've always associated with nest protection. After browsing, the best hypotheses I've encountered are that the crows were protecting either a food source or an area where they will be nesting. The woodland could be either.
Then this afternoon, a glance out the window showed a dozen or so house sparrows fluttering around in the shrubs under a pine tree--scavenging berries, as far as I could tell. A little later, the bird calls on a nearby street were so loud that we just had to stop and try to locate the birds--no such luck, as they were evidently in someone's back yard, and not everyone is amenable to total strangers clambering about in an attempt to locate the source of avian racket. We had to give up, but all the bird activity was cheering on a February afternoon.