Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picking up the kids and moving house! Bird bullied by aggressive starlings leaves nest with egg in its beak

pictures of birds
Beautiful: The Northern Flicker Bird was spotted flying the nest in Yellowstone Park in the U.S.
It can always be a hassle moving home - especially when you have kids to think about, even in egg form.

These Northern Flicker birds had to vacate the nest they had painstakingly chiselled into a roadside signpost.

The couple had been bullied from their Yellowstone Park home by a European Starling couple and were captured transferring a tiny white egg to a new nest.

Photographer Chuck Courson explains: 'At an intersection there is a big wooden sign and one day when slowing to navigate this turn I noticed a Northern Flicker sitting atop the signpost.

'I pulled over to have a closer look and discovered this enterprising bird and its mate had actually carved a perfect nest inside the post.

'Even though there were bison and elk in the adjoining field, I set up my tripod and gleefully captured the Northern Flickers flying in and out of the nest. I would have stayed much longer but someone pulled over and asked me what I was shooting.

'When I told him he suggested that my time would be better spent photographing the wolf on a bison kill over at the Yellowstone River. I packed my gear and rushed off.

'I returned to the nest and observed the hole in the post for a few minutes and nothing happened. There was no sign of life. I decided to set up my gear in the sagebrush, crouching low so as not to alarm the birds.

'The very moment I was set up and hit the focus button on my camera, a bird appeared in the hole. Much to my surprise and amazement, it was holding what appeared to be a ball in its mouth.

'In this instance you shoot and ask questions later. After the bird had flown away, I examined the series of photos more closely and discovered the Flicker was actually moving one of its eggs to a new nest.

'Apparently the Flicker couple had lost the battle with a European Starling couple and were being evicted from their well-build nest.'

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