Monday, December 07, 2009

Hawk in the prairie

Stuck in the house today, I spent a large amount of time watching the birds at the feeders.
Aside from the juncos, white-throated sparrows, cardinals, chickadees and titmice, it's always a treat to see a bird of prey swoop in and scare the pants off everyone else.

This red-shouldered hawk flew in, neatly bounced off the fence and headed for the back yard.
(And in the process, caused all the songbirds to scatter to the four winds)
RSHA aren't above snatching a small bird, but it's rodents they are after. The songbirds don't take any chances, though.

RSHA on back fence

I always look for bands, since the RSHA families down the street are outfitted with jewelry every year, but this one was too fluffed out for me to see its legs.
{Click here to hear how Red-shouldered hawks are called in for visual verification.}

It sat near our property value-decreasing prairie and looked for all the world like an orange lollipop.

Red-shouldered hawks make me catch my breath every time they decide to enter our yard. That orange chest, those red shoulders, the bold black and white banded tail. Delicious.
Aside from the wee American Kestrel, they are the most colorful of Ohio's raptors.
If they ever decided to nest here in our yard, I would be in raptor heaven. We definitely have the food supply.
Go out in your yard and find a place to start a prairie. Doesn't have to be big. You just have to NOT MOW IT, and fill it with native grasses and wildflowers. It will give you immense pleasure and the wildlife will throng to it.

Later on, I laughed out loud when a Cooper's hawk barreled into a tree near the feeders and caused all of the songbirds to violently poop in unison.
I do love my yard.


Kathiesbirds said...

Only you would see a hawk as an orange lollipop! Wonderful analogy! Pure poetry! I suspect your yard is often full of poetry! I'm glad you left it wild!

MObugs said...

I'm still trying to catch my breath from laughing at the image in my head of those birds getting the "Poop scared outta them" in unison!

Mel said...

LOL, you made me laugh lady! hahaha
Love you!

KGMom said...

Oh yes, I want to turn our backyard into a National Wildlife certified nature yard.
This coming spring, we're going green--no more lawn chemicals etc.
Next step nature yard.

Kathiesbirds said...

Hey Susan, I have a Cooper's hawk story over at my blog that I would like your opinion on. Also, I have a question for you. How many pounds can a Great Horned owl lift? So many peopole do not believe me when I tell them they can take a cat or a small dog. They will believe the owl can take a chihuahua but once you pass 15 lbs in weight people dont' believe the owls will take that. Can they?