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Raptor spotting

Camino LS6

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Today I watched a hawk defend its kill from a vulture - not something you see every day.

I had a little run in with a some kind of raptor late last summer. I always revel in how neat nature can be... my GF is in Brooklyn, and the more nature she see is her cat. OTOH, I have 10 acres the have gotten pretty over run with some wildlife.

Anyway, I'm walking from the backyard up to the house on the path... and I spotted a rabbit in the grass... nothing special, we have WAY too many of them. I get to about 8 feet from it, and I see this huge shadow coming at me and I look up to see some sort of hawk or falcon... swoop down in from of me and carry the rabbit away... scared the crap outta me. It was dark and had a huge wingspan. I guess it figured it had to beat me to the rabbit.

I want to say it was a turkey vulture, but they usually don't kill... but I see them flying around all the time... so it must've been a hawk or falcon.

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Very cool!

One summer evening, I was at my parents' house when we heard a duck go berserk outside down at the pond. So I grabbed a flashlight and shined it at the noise. It was the coolest thing!

There was a Great Horned Owl with its wings outstretched and its talons in the duck's back!

Huge wingspan.

Anyway, the light spooked the owl and the duck bolted for cover with about a dozen ducklings trying to keep up with her.

The owl had attacked her right on her nest, and the ducklings were underneath her the whole time.

Wish I had that on video.

My family also once had a cat that came in with talon wounds one morning... after that, she was terrified of ceiling fans. 8)

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My family also once had a cat that came in with talon wounds one morning... after that, she was terrified of ceiling fans. 8)

Believe it of not, the biggest bird problem I've had are Northern Mockingbirds. They are notoriously stubborn and fearless. They will chase people, dogs, cats, hawk, whatever... Years ago, they would menace our cats... chasing them and crapping on them. There real smart and can actually recognize individual animals and people visually.

Problem is they put there nests 6 ft off the ground... and this summer one put one 18 inches from the gate to get in the yard. I didn't notice it at first, just kept getting harassed by the bird. Finally, one day I noticed the chicks in the nearby tree... but momma bird didn't like it and flew after me... got me in the hand.

The darn things also network... they tell their friends and so I was bird enemy #1 all summer... Everywhere in the yard I could hear them chacking at me 100, 200, 400 ft from the nest.

They return, so I'm looking forward to another year of bird attacks. Yippee!

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It's cool how modern raptors exhibit much of the raw behaviour of their ancient forebears, at least as we imagine the ancients.

And mama birds with their territorial ways... look out! *DIVE BOMB*

I think turkey vultures are less predator than they are scavenger, aren't they?

I am debating whether to hang a bird feeder under my deck. The snow is taking a looong time to leave, but I don't want to deal with too much bird poop, either.

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