In My Backyard - #13 - With Eyes like a Hawk...

Well, I said I wasn't going to write another one of these but I couldn't bring myself to miss a month after having kept it up for a year now. So instead I am going to be more casual about it and leave off some of the droning I feel I do.

(Also, you may have been expecting another post on NOAA Okeanos Expedition 2013. Don't worry, its coming. I just thought I'd pop this in here today instead.)

Hawks have always fascinated me. Unlike the other birds I have wrote about on in this series, hawks are birds of prey and a little more gruesome. They find fruit and seeds less appetizing than little animals.

In fact, just the other day we had one swooping through the trees that line the perimeter of our one-acre. Obviously it was searching for a meal, and (sadly enough) it found one. We weren't sure if it got a baby squirrel or a baby bird, but it had something that it was eating away on. Have you ever seen them eat? It's not for the faint of heart. They hold the meat with their talons and rip with their beaks, hastily swallowing the morsel.

We watched him for a bit with the binoculars and I managed to get a few pictures but they didn't turn out. He flew off before finishing his meal. Evidently the angry birds around him were upsetting his appetite.

Though majestic and beautiful, hawks pose a problem to owners of small pets or farm animals, such as chickens or rabbits, etc. A friend of ours likes to leave her chickens loose to roam in her fenced in yard because she believes, as do we, that it is much healthier for them. Unfortunately, nearby hawks agree with her as well. My brother and I were leaving her house one day and we saw two good sized specimens just hanging around.

And yet, there is something that always comes to mind when talking about hawks or other small birds of prey. Have you ever read My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George? Its about a boy living in the woods who befriends a peregrin falcon, among other things. I read it years ago for school but the idea of catching a falcon and keeping it as a pet stuck with me. I've always had a special place in my heart for the beautiful creatures, and I always will. Of course, when catching the bird, the boy got quite scratched up. That stuck with me as well. But he had a friend for life.

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