Thursday, November 29, 2007

Red-Tailed Hawk

Once again tonight, I have not had to worry about what I'm going to post on my blog, thanks to my brother. This time it was Brother Dave from St. Paul who saved me. When I opened my e-mail at work this morning, I found that Dave had sent me an e-mail with some photos of a red-tailed hawk taken by one of his co-workers at their workplace.

Look at this:

Background--Dave is an artist and works at Garven World Headquarters in Mendota Heights, MN (at the south end of the St. Paul). His co-worker who took these photos is Jessica Wahlberg, and here's the story from Dave's e-mail:

"My coworker Jess took the pictures right outside the side door here at Garven World Headquarters. She said the hawk was in one of the trees that border the parking lot, just watching the ground below. She said that all of a sudden, it just dove down & snagged the animal - it turned out to be a rabbit -and there was a bunch of rustling & then the rabbit started screaming. She said that it was hard to listen to because it went on for so long but that was when she decided to run in & get the digital camera that belongs to the art dept. She came back out & snapped a few shots, which is what I sent."

Dave and I had a little additional e-mail discussion about this and I mentioned that Jess must be a birder because most other people would be grossed out by seeing and hearing the hawk kill the bunny. Dave said that Jess did have an interest in birds (although not quite as obsessive as me--imagine that!) and she recognizes that this is all a part of nature's circle of life.

I really enjoyed seeing these pictures of a beautiful first year Red-Tailed Hawk. I love the way it's trying to mantle over the rabbit (in the photo below), but there seems to be too many sticks and branches in the way to allow the hawk to spread its wings more. I also like the way the feathers on its head are sticking up. It must have seen Jess standing there taking pictures....

Thanks so much Dave and Jess for sharing this story with me and allowing me to post it on my blog.


Meggie said...

What a magnificent bird! too bad for the rabbit.... the circle of life, indeed!

mon@rch said...

WOW, Such wonderful photos and great your brother was willing to share with everyone!

Jayne said...

So cool!! Well, just imagine what the bunny population would be if it weren't for magnificent raptors like this. How lucky they were to witness it even if it was a bit unpleasant.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Meggie,
It would have been so neat to see the red-tailed hawk that close.

Hi Mon@rch,
I was really glad that Jess allowed me to use her pictures and Dave told me this story, because I knew it would make a great blog post.

Hi Jayne,
Now I have to figure out how to get a Red-Tailed Hawk to move nearer to my backyard 'cuz there are lots of fat bunnies running around there!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

And thank you for sharing this story.

KGMom said...

Ruthie--your story is amazingly similar to mine on the hawk grabbing a squirrel at my college.
The windows were closed, so we didn't hear any squirrel screaming, but the whole nature battle riveted my students for a while.
I wrote about it recently.

Mary said...

Ruthie, thank them from me. It's unusual to be so close to a hawk, especially when it's enjoying its meal. Wow. I would have been right there, too. Hate seeing the struggle, though. My heart is too soft for it.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
I remember that story from your blog (I had read it but never left a comment--sorry). It was interesting, though how the reactions differed among your male & female students.

Hi Mary,
I've seen this with the first year Cooper's Hawks in my backyard's like they're still developing the predator skills that make the adults such good hunters (and the bunny in the picture looked like it was pretty good sized too--must have been quite a struggle for both of them).

Larry said...

Nice photos of the Hawk.-I need to get some guest bloggers.It would be nice to have someone pitch in once in a while.

Jess at Garven world headquarters said...

Hello Ruthie! I must say that your blog is quite impressive. I'm glad that you have this love of birds. There is nothing like seeing these animals so close. I was very surprised that this hawk let me get as close as I did to get some great pictures. I've been into photography for a while now and it was such a rush to get these. Although it was very sad that the rabbit had to become a meal, it was spectacular to witness. I'm very glad that Dave shared these with you and that others can appreciate the beauty of this bird. thanks again for sharing it.

Charlie said...

Hi my name is Charlie
I have been surfing internet about red tail hawks. I been trying to learn more about them. I have a Red tail Hawk I've name Sarha she is always in front yard. She follows me when I go to the bus stop. Sits in a tree close by and talks to me. I go for walks alot and she aways close by. If I don't pay her any attention. She will fly up behind me and hawk at me.She was so close I could reach up and touch her. I nearly jump out of my skin.I was listening to my i pod and didn't know she was about. She aways make sure I know she about. Even when I'm not paying attention. Is this normal for a Hawk??? I gotten use to her being and enjoy her company. I have been a close as 4 feet from her. She flew up to the house and landed on the porch where I was sitting and talked to me. But she waited until my young son went into the house to come to the porch. She will stay in the trees if I'm not alone. Everyone in the family has seen her. But she only gets close to me.