I went outside this morning and I thought, gee, it’s awfully quiet out here. There must be a hawk. Sure enough, I looked up at the tree in my neighbor’s yard and there was this beautiful sharp-shinned hawk surveying the yard. She picked herself a perfect space. Not only could she see the feeder’s in our neighbor’s and our backyards, she had a very good view of the feeder in the front yard. Smart hawk. As she flew away, I thought I heard her say, “Rats! Foiled again.”
If you really want to do the birds that visit your yard a favor, don’t throw away those fallen branches. Make a brush pile in some corner of the yard. The birds will be thankful for the cover from predators and the shelter in harsh weather. Click on picture to enlarge.
Today was a wonderful day for watching young bald eagles. They seemed to be everywhere this morning. Since it was a pretty nippy one, I didn’t have to worry about anyone coming along and spooking them. I just found a rock to sit on and spent some time just hanging out with them. I love how the young ones have this earnest awkwardness. They look very muppet-like. At the same time, I know that only about half will make it to adulthood, so there’s always a bit of sadness watching them. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I pulled over to take some pictures of this cutie this morning. I was surprised that she didn’t immediately take off after seeing me, so I took quite a few pictures. When she started to get a little closer to the car, the window went up. I have to admit I was a little nervous and glad I had decided not to walk that path. I imagined different scenarios regarding how I would get the smell off of me, and since I would have to drive home, how I would get the smell out of the car. Glad she allowed me to admire her from afar. Click on pictures to enlarge.
The eggs are laid and the wait is on. Last year, this wonderful pair had two eaglets. Both successfully fledged. I can’t wait to see this year’s youngsters hopping around the nest. Click on picture to enlarge.
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.
Another winter wonderland this morning. I rushed out to throw some seed out for the birds and check on the feeder. While I have to admit I am getting a bit tired of this, there is something magical about the snow coming down and how quiet our neighborhood is on a Sunday morning. I could hear a fox in the distance and a red-tailed hawk shouting out, but I didn’t see them. I did, however, see many of the regulars. Click on pictures to enlarge.