Monday, August 11, 2008

Entertainment from the Front Yard

A few weeks ago I spent the entire weekend in the yard making things look nice for a group of people coming to visit. Near the end of one of these days I decided to take a break for a few minutes so I plopped down on a lawn chair and had a beverage (as Dave Letterman used to say, "There's nothing like a tasty beverage.").

Looking across the street I could hear what sounded like hundreds of birds congregating in my neighbor's twin pear trees. These were not large trees by any scale, but quite full and round. While I could hear hundreds of birds, I couldn't see a single one unless it chose to fly out of the "safety" of the tree. I used quotations marks around the word, safety for a reason. These birds only assumed they were safe in the canopy of the pear trees. I just happened to be looking straight ahead when a giant hawk (perhaps a Cooper's Hawk) shot into one of the trees. Honestly, it happened so fast that I don't know if the magnificent bird of prey swooped in from above or below the tree. The chirping and rustling of birds suddenly grew frantic, but paled in comparison to the rustling of leaves created by the giant wings of the invading hawk. Most of the birds in this tree managed to escape and the hawk quickly made his way to the other tree followed by more chirping and more rustling. A few seconds later one of the little birds emerged from this tree and attempted to make his way to the neighbors bushes to take cover. However, the hawk was right behind him. In a moment it was all over. The hawk held onto it's prey long enough to squeeze the life out of it and then devoured it piece by piece.

Should I have been grossed out by this? I hope it's ok that I thoroughly enjoyed being a witness to it all. I've seen these birds attack from a distance, but never from so close. I only wish I would have had a camera to get a few pictures. I grabbed this picture of a Cooper's Hawk from J. Cassady's "Vultures, Osprey, Kites, Eagles, Hawks & Falcons" page. Enjoy!

7 comments:

Hunny Bee May said...

Since I'm a girl I think the 'squeezed the life out of it then ate it in chunks' part is a little gross, but all in all I'm a pretty big fan of whatever nature has to offer. And since you're a guy I think you're safe in regards to having enjoyed the whole thing. My husband would have thought it was very entertaining.

Dirty diapers make him gag and moan, but animals devouring one another? That's just plain cool.

Randy said...

Survival of the fittest man. I guess I would have wanted to witness that too. I'm like hunny bee may though. Her husband can't handle dirty diapers but can watch animals devour each other. I'm in the same boat.

Uvulapie said...

Back when I worked at a Fortune 500 company it was almost a weekly occurrence to see Second Vice Presidents do the same thing to interns. It's fascinating the first few times but eventually you don't even hear their young, fresh-from-college screams for help.

Arby said...

I would have wanted the kids nearby to witness nature at it's finest, guts and all.

Rebekah said...

LOL, Hunny bee may's comment is the best. How can this be so cool, yet the thought of changing diapers disgust you.

On the flip side, that would be a cool thing to witness. Not something the average person sees every day

JAN said...

We love seeing things like this too. Before "boys" it would've disturbed me, but I'm so disturbed now, after 22 years of living with their way of thinking, that I would've run screaming into the house, "Guys! Get out here! This is so COOL!"

Mr. E said...

I bet that was an awesome sight to see.