Two hawks, one dead squirrel. High drama at the office.

Sure, the office is in a beautiful setting. Almost peaceful with its trees and wildflowers. Within the canopy,  however, different life-and-death dramas play out every day. Here, a red-tailed hawk, harangued by bluejays and mockingbirds, seeks a moment’s respite in a tree with a squirrel he’d caught for lunch.

The rest did not last long. The smaller birds screamed and even bashed him a time or two and he took off for another hiding spot. Alas, that last flight cost him. As he landed, his squirrel slipped from his talons and crashed through the branches.

A a second hawk, who followed the action and withstood an assault by other small birds, cashed in on the lost lunch.

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Hawk No. 1 with his squirrel lunch, which he carried from tree to tree under attack by bluejays and mockingbirds.
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Hawk No. 2, the interloper, withstanding attacks from a pair of mockingbirds who screeched and hit the hawk. The hawk, unusually, was undeterred. Red-tailed hawks tend to be scaredy cats. 
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The interloper, keeping his eyes on the prize, just waiting for a free lunch.
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And the loser, wheeling off sans lunch. 

Fair weather feathered friend

The weather here in the Mid-South has been so gloomy. Fog and more fog and rain on top of rain. Not that we don’t need the rain, but at some point, you just want to believe the sun will show its face again. Yesterday was that day.  The sun shone for a few hours, enough time to bring out the birds, get the rock knockers calling to their mates and to do some long overdue car washing.

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Mr. Cardinal out enjoying yesterday’s brief few hours of sunshine. 

 

Moby peck

The big raucous pileated woodpeckers in our corner of the Ouachita Mountains have been the Moby Dick to my Ahab-ic photographic ambitions. For years, I’ve tried to capture a decent photo, but they’ve proven elusive, skittish and pretty good at hiding for something so large and loudly colored. But finally, FINALLY, one very vocal female lit in a tree this morning, not far from our living room window. And there she is.
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