Wednesday November 19th 2014, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Wildlife

A plea: please don’t put out rat poisons where the rodents will get eaten by raptors, who are stillĀ  coming off near-extinction from the DDT era. Thanks.

Hope this one was organic. As I typed this afternoon…

Wow! I was on the phone with my dad, watching squirrels ambling in no particular hurry down the fencelines, one near in, two off to the right and out of sight past the cherry tree. (The side of the house cuts off my view from there.)

Then suddenly a rat–a big, fat, round-looking (pregnant or winter-fluffed?) roof rat, endemic around here and they do like to be in high places–appeared on the neighbor’s higher fence to the left, jumped down to mine, and was starting off in the direction yonder bushytails had just declared as safe.

In the daytime? Man those things are brazen.

BAM there was the Cooper’s hawk right on it! Instantly from right where the oblivious squirrels had gone. Must have been in my camphor. The rat jumped back up to the neighbor’s fence as big wings flapped right over it or maybe it was simply Coopernicus pulling up at that intersection but then he wheeled and there he was on the ground in front of my baby Page tree as if to show me, Here, lady, I got it for you. Holding it tight and standing upright to keep away from any teeth or claws, wings mantling fully out to the sides to hide his success from any potential mobbing crows overhead.

I said to Dad again, WOW! as the hawk kept direct eye contact with me his whole time on the ground, his prey succumbing between his talons, watching me tell my father what I’d just seen. I was mentally thanking my parents yet again for teaching their children to appreciate and watch the birds.

Roof rats, though, are prolific non-native pests that decimate bird species here on top of the damage they do to houses and gardens.

“Glad to help you out there, lady, anytime, just, one meal at a time is all,” I laughed telling my neighbor later as she invited him to take them all, help yourself, don’t hold back!

Having shown me he got that one, he was off and away to where the cover from the still-leafy trees would help him keep his meal to himself.

3 Comments so far
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Wow! You certainly get a front row seat to some of the best nature shows! Hoping all were/are healthy.

Comment by DebbieR 11.20.14 @ 8:08 pm

We don’t do poison either. There are too many carnivores out there… including dogs.

Comment by Channon 11.21.14 @ 7:45 pm

It almost seems Coop is protecting you. Hey, maybe he’s your patronus!

Comment by twinsetellen 11.21.14 @ 7:56 pm

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