Sunday, April 03, 2011

It's the Ciiiiiircle of Liiiife

It's a lazy Sunday on the couch with the Times and I happen to glance out the window just as a strange "pop" emanates from the waste vent pipe on the roof of the service garage down the block. I see something that looks strangely like a bird arc out of it and hit the ground. Then I notice the hawk--I'm not sure what kind, but not an overly large one--which has been sitting on the roof of a neighbor's house swoop down and snatch up the bird, which is about ½ the size of the hawk. The hawk must've heard the trapped and/or injured bird and was waiting for a solution to how to get this easy prey.
The hawk clamps in its jaw the bird by its midsection. Nate and I listen while the bird expires. Sad squawk-y screeches and then nothing. The hawk is being vigilant all the while, it's head moving around to keep an eye out for predators and rival hawks, I guess.
Finally, he clamps the bird in his massive claws and starts plucking and eating. He plucks a bit, feathers flying and floating on the breeze; then he eats a bit, stringy, bloody grossness hanging from his beak.
We live in the suburbs of a large city. Less than a mile from three different "ghettos." We never saw anything like this when we lived on the farm in Lancaster County. The chemicals had killed off all but the mice and the barn swallows and barn cats there. Since we've moved here, I've checked many birds off in my birding book. I've known squirrels well enough to name them and be sad when they stop coming around and have had the pleasure of sitting on my back porch at dusk and watching "our" bats keeping our large yard relatively free of bugs.
The world continues to amaze and educate me.

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