The unwary
Sunday February 24th 2013, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

The San Francisco peregrine falcon nest now has four eggs and the San Jose, three as of this evening.

But closer to home. Third flower!

When my car’s transmission blew, right on cue on a day when I needed the comfort of seeing him my Cooper’s hawk did a fly-by within feet of me, a dramatic three-beat wide-winged U-turn inches from the window, its talons in sudden wrapped attention to the dinner I could not quite see.

We were up till quite late last night washing, sorting, lifting, tossing and of course this was after two days of Stitches for me and of all day of this for Richard and by the time church was over today I was desperate to collapse before I barfed, the first warning sign of Crohn’s.

A long nap later, feeling a lot better for it and quite relieved, there was a low bird call and I thought, Wow, I heard that? Where was that? Cool!

Coopernicus flew in. There is a particular spot on the fence he likes, that the squirrels also like to sun themselves on, redwood real estate that seems to hold particular appeal.

He wasn’t hunting–he was announcing. Calling. To his new mate (I hope!) I couldn’t see? To the crows in the neighborhood? He stayed there being conspicuous for quite some time, owning the place. Richard got to see him too.

And then there was movement in the nearby leaves to the right that startled me but not the Cooper’s.

A black nose sniffed in the hawk’s direction. Pulled back. Reached forward and sniffed again. He’d been waiting and he was tired of it. (Note that the camera angles make the hawk look quite a bit smaller than he is.)

The squirrel seemed to harrumph, and ran deftly through the branches above the raptor’s head and over to the olive tree, where he turned and  considered his options and I snapped their picture.

Down a bit. A bit more. Forward. One step at a time. The hawk finally turned and stared him down. While I thought, we’ve seen this movie before and it does not go well for urban squirrels not used to being challenged.

The bushytail stepped onto the fence, still shielded by leaves (he’s in there). The hawk lifted a wing and a foot in warning.

Closer. And the  hawk, who had already demonstrated he wasn’t hungry by his utter lack of stealth, flew straight down into the neighbor’s yard and away.

That squirrel played king of the hill, all but shouting Mine! I did it! in that coveted spot and then peered down the fence in the direction the hawk had flown. Turned the other way to see if he was over there, just to make sure that bird knew who was boss around here. While I thought, you’ve just given a large hawk a perfect chance to come at you from behind from both ways.

Darwin awaits.

5 Comments so far
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Did spellcheck get you today? I am chuckling, quietly.

Comment by sherry in idaho 02.25.13 @ 8:42 am

amazing interaction between the squirrel and the hawk — wow!

cool pictures too!!

Comment by bev 02.25.13 @ 9:03 am

Gorgeous peach flower! Gee, it’s too bad that you can’t (don’t) get movies of these animal interactions. All there just for you.

Comment by Don Meyer 02.25.13 @ 10:32 am

The bird brain . . . vs. the squirrel brain.

Comment by LauraN 02.25.13 @ 12:33 pm

Cooper, flowers and prey! Oh My!

Comment by Channon 02.26.13 @ 12:27 pm

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