Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Killing Field

Mama delivered this meal, the biggest rat I've seen in a while. Female.

Hawk wanted to get it to a safe spot for dining, but could not fly it up to a branch.

Next attempt was to pull it up onto the rock. That didn't work either. It slid down rock like a kid on a snowy hill, thud back at bottom.

There was nothing to do but start eating right there. Think rare steak.

A rat provides a good meal provided it's a safe rat, not poisoned.

Kids were watching through playground fence. "Eeyoow, that's gross", and "Mommy, I'm hungry". I loved this kid's shirt, all things considered.

Hawk had enough and tried to figure out where to stash the carcas for safe keeping. There's still a lot of food remaining. I wanted to see if this was a pregnant rat.

Because of the excess weight hawk left it where it had been eating. (Carcas still there the next day attracting flies and maggots.)

Mama now back to raiding sparrow nests.

Sparrow nestling caught and eaten.

Next nest to be raided.

Mama hawk didn't get anything, but not for lack of effort. Sparrow nestlings probably way down deep in nest straw. Papa sparrow back calling alarm calls into nest.

Nest on reverse side of same tree. Adult sparrow bringing food. I don't think there were any babies left.

This is the way of the world, survival of the fittest. One of the birders saw Mama hawk fly over Riverside Drive to a window air conditioning unit, pluck a sparrow nestling from under AC and gulp it down whole.


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