The female bluebird is now spending most of her time in the birdhouse, with the male standing guard nearby. He frequently brings her bits of food and sometimes goes inside the box to sit with her for a few minutes. It's getting down to the wire; if all goes well, there'll be little bluebirds soon. Keep your fingers crossed!
As I stood at the front door watching the bluebirds, a huge, glossy black crow swooped down and landed in the yard. It strutted around, poking in the grass from time to time as it leisurely circled the garden. It wandered down alongside the driveway, still searching the grass when suddenly, it hopped straight up into the air. I wondered if it had been startled by an insect. The crow then began stabbing at something on the ground. But the something wasn't an insect--it was a mouse!
Grabbing the binoculars, I stared with a mixture of horror and fascination as the crow continued to attack the mouse. By now, the mouse was on its back, kicking its legs helplessly in the air. After a few seconds of this, the crow grabbed up the mouse in its beak and flew away into the pine thicket where it would, thankfully, devour its dinner out of my sight.
I know this is all part of the circle of life and that Nature isn't always kind. But I also know that sometimes my heart is too tender and my stomach too weak for this!