Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's.. IT'S...

This morning when I was supposed to be enjoying my sleep-in day, I was instead bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7:00 AM.  After tossing and turning in my bed while My Mukor took care of the kids' morning routine, I gave it up, and shuffled out to the dining room to find my son patiently waiting for his breakfast.

Me - Good morning, LittleMan.

LittleMan - Good morning, Mommy.

Me - You need to get dressed for school before you can have breakfast.

LittleMan - [Hopping down from his chair] Okay.

He walked through the kitchen to the playroom and faced the sliding-glass door leading to our backyard.

LittleMan - There are a bunch of big birds in our backyard.

Me - Yeah, those crows can be a loud bunch.

LittleMan - No, it is bigger than a crow.

Me - [?!?!?!?!?!]

I rushed to the playroom to look out the door, and I saw a juvenile red-tailed hawk standing in the middle of our grass. 

(Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk, but not the one in our backyard)

I noticed movement under its talons, and I see a wing poke out from underneath that I immediately recognize as a pigeon!?

(Pigeon, but most certainly NOT the pigeon under the hawk)

Of course I looked up information about this beautiful bird on Wikipedia, the Internet knower of all things, and discovered that these birds will in fact eat even large birds but usually not until they reach full maturity.

(Fully mature red-tailed hawk - no relation to the hawk in this blog)

The site also suggested that the hawks will pierce their prey's internal organs causing instant death.

Well, I would dispute the "immediate" part of that claim.

The hawk was patiently standing on the pigeon keeping it from moving - except for a time or two where the pigeon made some last-ditch efforts to free itself. Above the hawk on our telephone wire were about 5 crows making all kinds of racket. Meanwhile, our dog was trying to figure out what we found so interesting outside as I was attempting to restrain him.

I was amazed at how composed and lethal the hawk looked. The hawk knew we were there watching it since it kept turning its head toward us before looking back up at the crows... and then swinging its head back to look at us. But what really struck me was that the hawk didn't look like it was thinking about retreating or flying away. Instead, it looked like a hunter - ready to take on the world if threatened but willing to wait for its prey to die.

What seemed like too short a time (but perhaps mercifully so), the pigeon was clearly dead. The hawk suddenly flew away with its prey in its talons.

We looked back at the grass and sitting there in the middle of the yard was a huge pile of feathers.  How lovely.

Anyone know how to get rid of pigeon feathers short of using a vacuum cleaner?


All Things BD said...

I can't focus on the rest of your story because all I hear is YOU GOT OUT OF BED. You are not smart, my friend.

As for the feathers: snowblower???

DJ said...

Hmm, I can't help you on cleaning up feathers. That's a cool story, though, that hawk looks very impressive. Poor pigeon.

Don said...

Must be blog-about-birds and hawks day. Soggibottom posted about their cat benefiting from the bird feeders. I posted about hawks taking starlings and a squirrel because of my feeders.

Are our lives stressful? Imagine having to worry about a winged fury diving out of nowhere to pierce your innards with lethal talons...and make you hope you check out before the procedure advances to...yikes!

Anonymous said...

OH boy--lovely story! :) haha...I have no idea how to clean up feathers--maybe run a lawn mower over them?!

soggibottom said...

Soggibottom hasn't had the chance to visit this blog for ages....

Ok Have to admit FRANK is never blameless out in the back garden, but Ginger belongs to the cottage on the other side of the bridge ..... Nice cat called Oliver. Nice cat except little devil is a mouser, birder, and loves digging for moles.
NOT FRANKS FRIEND! Frank thinks the mice and moles are his, he only goes for the big birds (hawks)
BIG CAT!!!!!
YER UM... Hi! x x x x

Tiffany T said...

Fortunately, it rained here, so that took care of the feather issue.

I really, really, REALLY wish I could WILL myself back to sleep. But, alas, that is a losing proposition.

And, "HI" yourself, Soggi!