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Friday, February 1, 2008

So, I fed my Hawk today

Okay, I didn't feed him, perse, but I do maintain the acreage on which he loves to hover in search of his next prey/meal. And, he isn't really mine but I've come to think of him as a pet? Feeling as if he belongs to me in some way. (I don't know why I refer to him as a "he" since more than likely, he's a she -- aren't the females the true hunters?)

I just can't get enough. I'll be busily on task throughout my house and then suddenly, as I pass one of our wonderfully large windows there he is. He swoops and swarms and then comes in for a low glide just a few feet above the coastal. And, I will stand there completely mesmerized and secretly hoping he finds a "good catch."

So, my camera sits out on the island -- with the "big" lense -- waiting for his next visit. Often I will watch him for a good ten minutes or more...until he bores of our field and heads off to another. I watch him as he flies just a few feet over the coastal, gliding gracefully, hovering at times, and then -- finally spotting something and rocketing in to grasp it into his tallons. I'm as dissapointed as he when the prey escapes him, possibly even more so.

He is soooo beautiful to watch. I am hoping for a day when he is close enough to the house to get a really good close up. Generally, he is at least two acres away and unaware of his photo shoot.

But, today he caught his meal. And, I felt pride as I watched him flying off with it in the grasp of his claw. It appears to be a very large field rat. Too small for a mouse and not big enough for a rabbit. It takes both tallons to hold a rabbit and he has to sit on it for awhile until he has squeezed the energy from it. If it wiggles too much he can't fly away. I know this because I have witnessed it.

Anyhow, I zoomed and cropped these pics. Once again I did not reduce the pixel size so that you can click on the pic for a larger view. (If you have photo software, you can probably view these really well there.)