by Bryce W. Robinson
A few days ago I was birding a wooded area along the Boise River, following a rowdy mixed flock of both Kinglet species, Black-capped Chickadees, and Brown Creeper. I’ve been developing a fascination with mixed flock behavior as the season falls into winter, and so I was taking the opportunity to watch the birds and listen to their communication. They were rolling through the area at an impressive rate, which struck me as odd. They seemed to be on the move, for one reason or another. As I followed, the flock hesitated at the edge of the thickets, so I was able to assess the composition and pay closer attention to the individuals. In doing so, my eyes settled on a feathered branch end, sticking up amidst the yellow leaves. A roosting Western Screech Owl, a treat.