Thursday, February 16, 2006

P.S. Last night's Screech fly-out

Immature Cooper's Hawk 2005
Photo by Cal Vornberger

Both West Drive owls flew out quite late last night, the male at 6:05 , the female 5 minutes later. The rapt audience included Lee, Noreen, Jean, Bob L, Fred, Gabriel, Dennis and a passer-by who stopped to watch the show and vowed to return.

About half an hour earlier, just as the sun was setting, a big adult Cooper's Hawk, probably a female, landed on a tree very near the owls' roost tree. The screech-owl, already alert at the entrance of his roost-hole, kept an eye on the hawk. Five minutes later the hawk lunged at a lamp-post directly across the Drive from the owl. We could hear an impact, but it all happened too fast to see exactly what happened. Odds are the hawk grabbed a sparrow who was heading for a night roost just a hair or rather, just a feather too late. The raptor sailed off eastward, across the Lake. The owl seemed to relax and look about elsewhere on the West Drive where many joggers were taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather.