16 December 2010

I saw these two meet this morning. Guess how it ended.

 

This morning I was about four houses away from my own house when I saw a large bird swoop down on the sidewalk directly ahead of me and pick something up. The bird flew up to a nearby roof and perched. I quickened my pace because I wanted to get a closer look to see what kind of bird it was and to see what it had caught. As I got closer to where it was perched, the bird took to flight again. But this time, instead of flying away from me, it crossed over about 20 feet in front of me and only about 10 to 15 feet in the air. I couldn't believe how close it was and practically at eye level. It was such an amazing thing to see at such close range.

I had noticed hawk-like silhouettes circling high above the tree line in our neighborhood on a few previous occasions, but to see one swoop down on the sidewalk right in front of me and catch its prey was amazing. And then to have it do a fly by right in front of me was surreal. I thought about trying to capture it on my cellphone camera, but I knew that just watching it and not missing a thing was way more interesting than getting a blurry picture of it.

I am pretty sure it was a red-shouldered hawk. And I am even more sure that it was an American grey squirrel. May he or she rest in peace. Circle of life and all that...
 

7 comments:

  1. One squirrel less is one flower bed safer. Cute, yes, but awful little destructive rats with fur. As a bonus they also feed on rabbits and pigeons. Let's here it for the birds of prey!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those hawks are fun to watch. We had a family on a cell tower near our building and they were protected once someone notified some endangered animal authority. The parents would land outside on our building window ledges and they were spectacular to see up close. I wouldn't want to be his prey . . . MDC

    ReplyDelete
  3. Steve: I don't disagree.

    Denise: I know I try to think of the squirrel's family who won't have him around this Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's awesome! I've never seen any of the various raptors that frequent my neighborhood actually catch a squirrel. Maybe that's why there are so many squirrels where I live. Next time you see your stately friend send it to Minneapolis to teach a class on how to catch a squirrel :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stefanie: I am sure they do eat the squirrels in your neighborhood. I remember when I lived in Minneapolis someone from The Raptor Center came to my workplace and brought this fantastic owl. It was so cool.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, that is a HUGE meal for that hawk! I now live on a college campus again and I have realized how much more massive (and thus slow) the squirrels are there than they are elsewhere. But the one in your picture looks pretty big, too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aarti: Yeah squirrels don't often go hungry on campus.

    ReplyDelete