Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Hawk Attacks in the Blink of an Eye

I couldn't tear myself away from all the activity at our birdfeeders on our snowy Tuesday afternoon here in southern Wisconsin. 

Many of our feathered acquaintances flew in for a belly full of seeds.

Occasionally, one would pause to take a breath.

This sparrow showed me his profile...

and then promptly hopped around to pose for a frontal view.

A handful of Juncos joined the jamboree as well.

Birds move so quickly, I never know what view I'm going to end up with. 

I enjoyed watching this cute nuthatch.  They usually prefer to be upside-down...
...but not always.

(My last blog post shows more of the birds who were feeding during the snowy Tuesday afternoon).
I felt bad when I spotted this little guy.  From a distance, he looked roughed up and frazzled to me.

I zoomed in and was alarmed to see this.   

I couldn't imagine what had happened to him.  He looked hurt.

Suddenly, I heard the thumping of birds hitting the window in front of me.  Something had frightened them terribly.  In the blink of an eye, all the birds had vanished from my sight.  All that remained were two feather smudges on the glass.  

The birdfeeders and the deck below were empty.  I put my camera down.  I was startled and wondered what had forced them to scatter so desperately.  A few minutes later, I looked out at the feeders again. 

On a branch of our pin oak tree above the birdfeeders, I saw this hawk.  His mouth was full of feathers and he had a small bird in his claws.  I was saddened after watching the small birds feeding innocently only seconds before, but I realize that this is how nature works.

It was a grizzly scene but, of course, a hawk has to eat too. 

I was intrigued by what I was seeing.  Hawks aren't an everyday occurrence in our backyard.

I wonder if the scruffy, injured looking bird I showed previously had a run in with the same hawk.

I had to get as many photos as I could.  I doubt that I'll observe wildlife scenes like this very often in my own backyard.

A hawk is what he is and does what he must to survive.  He is beautiful and I appreciate him as I do all the birds I'm blessed to observe outside my window.

(Please check my previous post for earlier activity that same day).


Linda McMann said...

My brother-in-law says it looks like a sharp-shinned hawk. They're bird eaters. Great pictures, but sad outcome!

Gullible said...

Wow. Great shots of that hawk.

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

LINDA: Or a Broad-winged Hawk. I'm not sure. It's kind of hard to identify birds even with field guides. On a cloudy day, it can be hard to identify the color of feathers. Oh well, it was a sight to see!!

GULLY: Thanks. I didn't stop taking pictures until he flew off.

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