About two weeks ago I was going out to get the chickens settled for the night when I noticed fifteen or so yellow-rumped cacique birds swoop into the tree across the street. I was surprised because we generally see caciques alone or perhaps with one other bird in tree tops singing their distinctive warbling song. I called for Mary to step out onto the porch and just as she did another dozen or so caciques swooped in at break-neck speed. These birds stayed only briefly in the tree and then flew off toward the southeast.
I was less surprised the next night when dozens more caciques flew into several of the trees in our yard. On the third night I tried to stand and count the birds that flew across the open area between two trees on our east side lot. My neck fatigued and cramped up after I had counted more than five hundred of these unique birds. I determined to get my camera and see if I could get pictures and perhaps a video recording. So I positioned one of our adirondack style plastic chairs in the yard and leaned back to get some pictures.
I was barely finished getting seated with my head comfortably leaning back when a huge bird plopped down right on my chest! But, it was not a cacique. I looked down and saw one of our chickens staring directly into my face from six or seven inches away.
This bird was not concerned with cacique migration, she just wanted some one-on-one time with me scratching her back. So I sat up a bit in the chair and let her nestle down on my arm and turned my attention to her.
But we have four chickens and they all like a little quality time with us in the evenings. The others were lining up for their turns.
This little one became impatient and hopped up onto my right knee.
She nestled down right there and I had to put down the camera for a while so that I could pet her with my other hand.
After a few minutes all of the chickens felt that they had been noticed and were loved, so they all hopped down and filed over to the chicken coop as they do every evening at about 6:30.
They all eat a bit more of their chicken feed, take a drink of water and after a few minutes they file up into the roosting area for the night. I got up and shut the main door and snapped a picture of the four siblings getting ready to huddle up together on their roost.
Goodnight girls (and at least one guy). Sleep tight!
By the way – I was able to get some pictures of the caciques that night and on the next several evenings. They come in the waning hours of the day as dusk is coming on, so I will have to go through the pictures and try to find some clear shots to give you an idea of the spectacle that is our’s to enjoy each evening with the returning of the caciques here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!