On alert

I was outside scraping ice off the car this morning when I saw a cooper’s hawk fly in after the smaller birds feeding in our backyard. I watched her land and sit on some brush over where the smaller birds were hiding. I went over to where she was and she didn’t move an inch. I looked up at the hawk. She looked down at me. “You don’t even care that I’m here,” I said out loud.

She looked down at me again as if to say, “Yeah, that’s right. I’m hungry.” A red-winged blackbird flew out of the brush and the hawk dived after her. They were moving so fast, I literally had to jump out of the way as the blackbird flew directly at me with the hawk on her tail. The blackbird then flew right at the house and I was sure she was going to crash, but she pulled up fast and then flew back down around a tree. She circled the trees in the yard several times with the hawk right on her tail. She then made a swift turn and went toward my neighbor’s yard. It looked like she got away.

When the smaller birds came back out of the brush to start eating again, everyone seemed to be on high alert. Crests were up. These life and death dramas play out around us every day and I always find myself wondering how many notice. I so wished I had my camera with me when all this took place, but it’s really the moment that matters.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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