I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So that's what all the fuss was about

Bonus bird blogging.

I went to the park this morning more because I needed the restorative powers of green thought in a green shade than because I harbored any realistic hopes of getting interesting pictures.

The fall migration has already begun, but because it's still hot sticky summer despite what the migratory calendars may claim, most of those early arrivals, along with the remaining summer residents, are well hidden from avian paparazzi by the thick foliage.

So I saw beautiful redstarts and black and white warblers along with the usual robins and grackles and cardinals, but didn't get good pictures of any of them -- and honestly, didn't try all that hard.

I was sitting by the Azalea Pond in the Ramble when the distress calls started, and every bird in the nearby trees went into shrieky fluttery panic mode, followed by abrupt dead silence as a hawk flew overhead.

Usually the birds come back once the predator is safely gone, but it remained quiet by the pond, and when I got up to leave I saw why: the hawk had circled back and was perched on a low branch on the other side of the water.

So I got a good picture after all -- not my first of the park's famous red-tails, but my best, and the first one where the hawk wasn't covered in the blood of some unlucky songbird. (I know raptors aren't vegetarians, and they have to live too, but I hate to see any creature killed. Even rats, which hawks consider quite a delicacy.)

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