Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hawks & Rabbits

Yesterday when I left the house I noticed that there seemed to have been some sort of mass rabbit suicide in our neighborhood overnight. I know, morbid. Seriously though, there were little rabbit bodies everywhere as I drove down the road. As you can imagine that much carnage was sure to draw the attention of the nearby birds of prey. It seemed they were everywhere yesterday! Circling overhead, clawing at the carcasses, and fighting in the trees.

Miles was napping and I was working in the office. I could hear a murder of crows shouting angrily overhead. I always thought it strange that a group of crows was called such an awful word, but as they circled it truly sounded like they were ready to do just that. Then I heard the most horrendous CRASH!!! As I ran to investigate imagine my shock as I turned to see this amazing Red-tailed hawk perched on the bench on the back porch. Then I saw the markings in the snow, and much to my horror I realized this majestic bird, trying to escape her assailants, had just flown directly into my window!

Judging by the size I believe this is a female. You can see the terrible "crash marks" on the glass. I was waiting anxiously to see if she was injured... then it occurred I should grab my camera... and just like that she was gone. She flew gracefully across the pond and perched in a nearby tree. The crows were waiting and they chased her all the way.

You can see where her body fell to the ground. Really I am so thankful that she seemed unharmed... perhaps some ruffled feathers and an injured ego, but able to fly. (Looks like I need to head out to find some of those bird silhouettes to stick to my glass windows so this does not happen again.)
When Miles woke up we started to play with one of his new favorite toys. My grandmother made me this family of rabbits that "live" in a carrot. I adored them when I was little and it is so much fun watching Miles unzip the carrot and play with these little rabbits. It seemed that hawks and rabbits had become the theme of the day.

While Miles ate his snack (and also "snacked" on the little boy rabbit) I told him about the Red- tailed Hawk. As we were looking out the window a Coopers Hawk flew past, probably fresh from dining on the frozen rabbit delights outside!
Then suddenly they were back - the murder of crows, and our sweet Red-tailed Hawk. She perched in the neighbors tree, seeking solace for a moment. I managed to snap another photo, then she was off again, the big black birds chasing behind her. It was good to see that hours later she was still flying about. I do hope that she is OK.

Sweet Miles waved goodbye as she flew away, and that was the last we saw of her yesterday. As the weather gets cold I know all of the animals outside are working so hard to survive. I am so very thankful for our shelter, and our fireplace, and warm dinners! To commemorate the day filled with rabbits I made a lemon creme carrot soup for dinner. Yum!

Later, as I was loading the dishwasher, I realized that I must always remember to check, and double check, what is in there before I run a load! My little helper had stashed a few of his wooden Greek blocks from Yia Yia Linda. Perhaps he thought they needed some cleaning.


  1. Paul would have been out there with his pellet gun hunting down those nasty crows. What were they doing picking on such a lovely bird when there was a bunny buffet going on around town?