Hawk eyes
Saturday May 07th 2011, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

All these times I’d talked about my hawks and Richard had never seen them.

I was in the kitchen making my hot cocoa this morning when I heard a loud thump. Richard called out to me from the family room. What, dear–Oh!

His voice and my sudden appearing didn’t scare it away: there was the male Cooper’s, standing on the wooden box looking in the window straight at us.

It’s been clear to me for some time that not only do those hawks know precisely where the windows are and that they cannot go through them, but also that smaller birds can be panicked into trying to. Hey! No talons to deal with, no beaks fighting back, just put in your order at the drive-through and go on over to the pick-up window.

Except this prey hadn’t started off from the usual spot and he was going, Which window? I can’t believe I lost it! I know it’s around here somewhere, I heard it…

And so there was my inquisitive male again, hopping down from the box and exploring the L-shaped patio around where the doves usually go.

He hopped past the table. He went around the birdseed can. Over to the left a little, and peered around the earthquake-supplies can.  He didn’t mind that I’d come across the room to follow him, and he looked back at me as if to shrug his wings: I know it’s here–where IS it?!

He again didn’t spook (his mate would have) as I turned sideways across the room and got up on the couch and looked: there it is! Feet up.

And so I pointed at his waiting mourned morning dove on the far side of the box and looked back at the hawk.

Well now. Hmm. He couldn’t see around that thing. He hesitated just a moment and then half-fluttered half-walked over to where I was pointing.

So *there* it is! Breakfast! ‘Kthanksbye, and he grabbed it fast and flew off to the fence with it pulled up so close that I could not see from right there that it was two birds exiting, stage left (the dove was well past knowing). He put it down on the top board up there and started plucking.

And darn if a large gray squirrel didn’t start cautiously coming in close to watch: if that hawk lost its prey for a second that squirrel was going to go for it. They need protein for their young, too, but they don’t like to mess with actually killing something that could attack them back, that’s the hawk’s job. The squirrel got to about six feet nearly straight above with just enough sideways for the leap, tense, watching.

Another hawk flew overhead, I assume the female Cooper’s sneaking a peak at the day-before-Mother’s-Day buffet about to come in.  Hope he doesn’t forget the maple syrup or eat all the pancakes.

A pillowcase-worth of feathers floating in the air, and finally the hawk had had enough squirrellyness and removed all temptation, off to bring the now-ready breakfast to the waiting mother of his eyases. Raise the wings high and flap, Jack.

“It was quite spectacular,” said Richard later.

10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What a lively wonderful description. I can almost see it all happen.

Comment by Henya 05.07.11 @ 10:58 pm

This relationship you have with your wildlife, especially the hawks, is just amazing! I’m with Richard – it just has to be spectacular to see those magnificent birds so close. You pointed to where the bird landed and he went there? My cats won’t even do that!!

Happy Mother’s Day, dear friend!

Comment by Cathy 05.07.11 @ 11:26 pm

I’m with Henya. How marvelous that the wild things know you are one of the “good guys”.

Comment by Lynn 05.08.11 @ 3:58 am

I wonder if you are going to get to see your grandhawks.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 05.08.11 @ 6:32 am

well, Richard is the master of understatement!

this is a most awesome word picture — and I love the “go on over to the pick up window”!

Happy Mother’s Day (and Grandmother’s Day too!)

Comment by Bev 05.08.11 @ 7:36 am

What a wonderful experience and a marvelous description of the event. Wow!

Comment by Jan Andersen 05.08.11 @ 8:52 am

I think this gives a whole new perspective to ‘bird watching’. And with these installments we don’t have to wait for the book to come out. Oh, do flap, Jack! Love it!

Comment by Don Meyer 05.08.11 @ 10:08 am

Fascinating. You get an assist for that Mothers Day Eve meal!

Comment by Channon 05.08.11 @ 2:24 pm


Comment by twinsetellen 05.08.11 @ 7:31 pm

Amazing story. Thanks for sharing it! I loved it.

Comment by Cathy-Cate 05.10.11 @ 5:31 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>