7 thoughts on “Watching It Like A Hawk”

  1. I need to go find my cheap little bird book to see if I can identify it. Odds are it’s a species I used to see from time to time in the fields around Sacramento when I lived there, but never had this good of a look to compare.

  2. Great sequence.

    Here in Texas, raptors of this type (buteos) are numerous. We have a mated pair of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) that live in our inner-city neighborhood, and often hunt in our back yard. They do an excellent job of keeping the local environment free of rats, mice, and other pests. (Despite their large wingspan and fearsome appearance, they don’t have the delta-vee to carry off cats or other typical household pets.) They also hunt snakes, certain songbirds (jays are a favorite), and the young of various mammalian species. Their favorite is chicken, though, which means local urban chicken-raisers have to build hawkproof runs for their fowl lest Mr. and Mrs. Redtail help themselves to a delicious raw hen! Mostly, however, they eat squab and young jackrabbits, keeping their populations in check, for which we residents of North Texas are grateful.

  3. That bad boy is really going to down, isn’t he?

    I could just see the other (regular) birds nudging each other, and whispering “No, you tell him he’s not allowed!”

    B Lewis, I am reminded of one scene I caught at Miami University a few years ago. While walking to my next class, I noticed a small crowd gathering outside one of the entrances to the science building across from the student center. A hawk had made a kill, and one or two dozen folks had stopped to watch. Around here a hawk overhead is not unusual, but we don’t see them on the ground.

    What impressed me is that the bird continued its meal, ignoring the audience except to occasionally pause and glare around as if to say “What? You got a problem with this?”

    No one tried to shoo the hawk off, or disturb his meal. I suppose all the greens were hiding in the sociology building. 🙂

  4. Why should a Greenie object? Predation is all part of the beautiful Circle Of Life, right? (~_^)

    The other day I had to carefully steer my toddler away from the tuft of “pretty” blue jay feathers beneath our chain link fence. Atop the fence, over the spot where the feathers lay, was the disembowled husk of their former owner, stuck on the wire prongs of the fence where it had been impaled by Mr. (or Mrs.) Redtail. I’ll introduce the lad to the realities of this fallen world when he’s a bit older.

    Though I try not to be sentimental over wild animals, it was kind of sad listening to the dead jay’s mate calling for his or her lost partner over the next few days. Jays mate for life, too…

  5. About 20 years ago I was working in the engineering department of a local defense contractor. The building was WWII vintage, warehouse style, with additions all over the place. There was an open-air courtyard surrounded by offices and labs, and one day a large hawk decided to have its lunch in there. Dozens of fascinated folks were watching through the windows around the courtyard. The bird didn’t like the audience much, but finished its lunch anyway.

    I just wish it had taken out the raccoon families before they invaded the building. . .

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