It was then that my bliss was shattered. Something wanted to quash my happiness, and the jarring calls of discontent quickly dragged me out of my dreamlike morning. I slowly turned, face wrinkled by the perturbation of my idyllic mood, ready to see what beast was ready to pick a fight with me. I stood tall, did my best to look stoic, and braced myself for what came next. The stalks moved and I quickly realized I was outnumbered. It was too late for me to do anything but wait for my taunter and its sidekick to come face me down, and soon, I was looking at a face of pure malice.
The downy pinfeathers around the face denote that this is a young bird, most likely a rebellious teenager that has serious issues with authority.
My challenge was immediately accepted. Barrelling back out of the brush, we gazed into each others eyes, sizing each other up, until we realized we were evenly matched. Any fight would end in a stalemate, with the potential for serious injury for both. I snapped a few more shots as the situation calmed, and soon, we were able to diffuse the situation and interact more peaceably. My adversary soon backed down, and I followed suit, acknowledging that the fight was over, and that we had reached a mutually beneficial outcome.
I walked away, tingling from the adrenaline from the encounter. I had faced down a Sedge Wren with attitude and lived.
Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis stellaris) in Baker Wetlands, Lawrence, Kansas.
Note: This post may or may not have some artistic license and the anthropomorphism of birds should be considered fictional. The Sedge Wren and it's inherit sense of entitlement, however, are all too real.