Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Battle of the Bulge

Bob Levy sends in a photo and dramatic story:

The plaintive hawk-alarm call of a Gray Squirrel alerted me that a raptor was in my immediate vicinity. As I headed in the direction of the sound I scanned the open branches on the periphery of a meadow where from experience I have learned hunting hawks will often perch. In hardly any time at all I was looking up at a large juvenile female Red-tailed Hawk only about twenty feet off the ground. Although she periodically jerked her head from side to side to triangulate the positions of three squirrels foraging several yards away she did not attempt an attack. Her bulging crop indicated that she must have recently had a substantial meal and was not immediately ready for another.
For the next twenty minutes or more I was able to observe her freely from beneath the overhanging branches of an evergreen. I really did not need to hide. The hawk obviously knew I was there but that did not bother her. She continued to rest and digest her meal while giving two other observers and myself only an occasional glance. Meanwhile I clicked away with the camera and took three dozen images...Zoom in and enjoy