Saturday, August 20, 2011

He Missed!

I was walking past my kitchen door yesterday and glanced out of the window, as I always do.  At first, I thought that my memory of the big rock in my side yard was playing tricks with me, but, then, I looked again and saw a very large Red-tailed hawk resting on it.  I rushed for my camera and managed to get off one shot before he flew away.  Unfortunately, it's not the clearest, since it was shot through two doors, one of which was a screen door.
Just a second after I took this shot, he spread his wings and flew away.  What a majestic sight he was, gliding silently along, close to the ground, then rising into the air.  Unfortunately, my camera was still in freeze mode, after my first shot, and I couldn't catch it.

I figure he had attempted an attack on some hapless critter at my feeder.  But, when I hurried out to check, I saw nothing, and I know that there was nothing in his claws as he flew away, so, this time, he missed.  I know he has to eat, but I'm fond of my critters, so I'm glad he missed, this time.  Just last week, I found a pile of Mourning Dove feathers near that spot, so he, or one of his raptor cousins, doesn't always miss.  It seems to always be the Mourning Doves that get taken.  No wonder they have such a high birth rate.  They have to, to make up for the predation.

Here's a picture I took, just to show how close this rock is to the feeder area.
Better luck next time, big fella.  And, have that better luck someplace else, please?

13 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

LOL! we have a red-shoulder hunting here almost every day too... :)

Liesl said...

Wow,Louise,it's like National Geographic out my back window there!!! Amazing. I giggled at the pic illustrating hoe near the rock is to the feeding spot...those squirrels wouldn't be showing themselves so spontaineously if Mr Hawk was around...

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I wonder if he has been watching all the squirrels and chipmunks you've had around...They love them too, as you know.

Sharon said...

Could be, he sits high atop a tree, just waiting to swoop down on an unsuspecting little critter. Sure glad that he missed this time!

missing moments said...

How lucky to have seen him. Occasionally I've seen one in the pasture next door. Last week, something got one of our doves ... feathers all over the place!

Madi and Mom said...

What a gorgeous bird....someone is always at the end of the food chain and it appears it is usually the Mourning Doves. They are slow and they make a noise that sounds like the Three Stooges...
Hugs Madi and Mom

A Quiet Corner said...

If your Doves are the size of a Jay, it may have been a Cooper's Hawk. Red Tails usually go after larger game...you don't have a cat, do you? That's more their "cup of tea", squirrel, etc something a little more substantial as their talons exert several hundred pounds of pressure!...:)JP

Dreaming said...

You are right about their being so majestic in flight. It's a great joy to watch them floating on the breeze, high in the sky around here. We often see them perched on fence posts.
In addition to a variety of hawks, we have also watched the Harrier and a Kestrel - both elegant fliers.

Great shot - (Don't you hate missing a shot because of that pause between shots?!)

Upupaepops said...

This appears to be a young bird ( tail bars)

I never had a Buteo come to my feeders but plenty of Accipiter and falcon action.

Red-tails will take snakes as well

Terry said...

I'm just like you, Louise - I know they have to eat too, but please, not "my" critters!

willowhousechronicles said...

You really had your wits about you to capture this shot of him. Nice!

A Mom In Missoura said...

WoW!!! What a great shot! That's why I always have my camera nearby!

KB said...

I'm glad that he missed too!!!!!

We sometimes get raptors by our feeders. We once saw a Cooper's Hawk pluck a Stellar's Jay out of mid-air. A big struggle ensued because the hawk wasn't that much bigger than the Jay. Then, the Jay's flock started dive-bombing the hawk. The hawk eventually flew away without his quarry. However, our bet was that the Jay wouldn't survive. The talons of the hawk had taken a big toll.

I like raptors but I'd prefer that they don't hunt at our feeders!