Thursday, July 9, 2009


My friends reported that the hawks bathe in the morning, so I hauled myself out of bed at 6:30am and headed to hawk territory. Only one problem- 61 degrees, no water. The hawks were together on a branch over the playground. One of the babies calls a lot, which means "I'm here. Bring food!"

And Mama did, handed over a young starling in mid-air which the young hawk dropped into the tall grass. There's a log on the ground near the fence surrounding the playground. Good dining table provided you can hang onto your meal. That starling fell off the log at least five times before the baby got the knack of grasping it while dining. It seemed like a very small meal for a huge appetite. After polishing off every molecule of the starling the hawk spotted a remnant of a previous kill, mostly skeletal, and polished that off too.

There's a pattern.... dine, then rest and preen. No matter where the babies rested they were bombarded by mockingbirds who have their nest in this space. The mockers were screaming at the hawks, squirrel yells, very funny to hear, but not funny to watch. The mockingbirds were taking viscious swipes at the hawks. It's what birds do to protect their young.

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