Sunday, February 17, 2008

Clearing the deck

Cooper's Hawk
cleared the deck.

He perched in the garden looking for lunch.

The snow has stopped.
The wind is gusting, 40 miles an hour.

I think he wanted me to go inside.

I watched as Cooper caught a House Sparrow.
He found a quiet place on the ground to have lunch.
I will change the House Sparrow count for today,
twenty-six, minus one.


Cheryl said...

What a beautiful bird. I was having breakfast one morning and looked out of the window to see a Sparrowhawk take a dove. He boldly plucked the bird infront of me. I could not move from my seat, I was total transfixed. He ate as much as he needed, then slowly put the remains in his great claws and flew away.

meggie said...

How cruel life can be! It seems so hard to think of predatory animals, & realise they have their place in the world.
That Hawk is very beautiful. Your photos are amazing.

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
The ways of nature are awesome.
The food chain I guess we call it.
I also watched as Cooper plucked some of the Sparrow. I remember last summer watching a Praying Mantis eat a small Skipper Butterfly. We have lots and lots of House Sparrows and lots of Skippers. Maybe that is how it works. Maybe nature knows just the right numbers and so can supply the needs of all of her creatures.
There is something for humans to learn from the ways of the birds and the bugs.
I also hug trees in every stage of their lives.

Anonymous said...

such amazing photos and what a thrill to see such a bird in your back yard! We just started getting the wind to pick up!

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
Thank you!
I was outside with Cooper. He doesn't mind me too much!
I think he was really hungry and just wanted me to go back inside so he could get lunch.
I do not eat animals only plants. But life is life and when I dig up a carrot I am taking its life. As long as I honor that life I think it is the way of nature. Not that Cooper says, "Thank you" for the Sparrow. I think Cooper is following his nature. What I notice, in nature, the birds only eat what they need. They are not inclined to over eat because the raisins are so tasty or the sparrows so abundant.
Learning from the birds. They are great teachers.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Awesome photos of the Coop. Your photos reveal the poise and power under those feathers.

Q said...

Dear Tom,
Cooper's Hawk and Sharp Shinned Hawk hunt my backyard daily. I do not always get to see them or take their photos. There actually are two Coops that come, one is an adult the other a juvenile.
I enjoy the Hawks. My husband always tells me I would not be so pleased with them if they captured the Wrens. He is right about that too. The winds have been fierce today, blowing out the snow and drying some of the melt. I hope soon the winds blow some warm air my way.

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
They are incredible birds. I was rather close too. I expected him to fly but he was determined to get lunch. He let me know he wanted me to go away!
I did!
I respect the Hawks.

Mary said...

Sherry, I think you haven taken the best Cooper shots I have ever seen. I hope your Cooper's cleans up with HOSP. My Cooper's is sleeping on the job.

Naturegirl said...

Oh my goodness!! We are kindred spirits..soul sisters!! Come see what I posted today!!! Unbelievable how connected we are!!How we think alike!
Your photos are wonderful as usual!
hugs NG

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Thank you. He is a beautiful bird.
Since there are two Coopers and one Sharp-shinned hunting in the backyard my Dove population has dropped from over 30 to a reasonable 13 and the House Sparrow population has also begun to drop a little bit. The Cardinals are in large numbers and I expect some will become lunch or dinner. We must remember everybody needs to eat.
Your Cooper will return. If we just leave nature to do what nature does best we will have balance in our world. Loss of habitat is very hard on the birds. By providing food we are making up a tiny bit of what we have taken away. I am pleased to see the hawks be successful.

Q said...

Dear Anna,
LOL! We are connected! I did not photograph Cooper with his Sparrow. I could have but I went inside so he could eat in peace! I have seen him be successful many times. It always pleases me.
So glad your Cooper's Hawk was also successful today.
We are soul sisters.

Chrissie said...

The hawk is beautiful but nature is tough. We have too many feathers on the lawn this weekend although we don't know if it was a hawk or the fox that has visited us before. Hope you had a great weekend. Keep warm :-)

Jayne said...

One less house sparrow... boo hooo. :c) My Cooper's on Sunday should have gone sparrow hunting elsewhere... he got a Goldfinch instead. :c(

Q said...

Dear Chris,
I think because I live in the city I have not been exposed to the everday ways of the animals. The Hawks are the only carnivores in my area I ever see hunt. The death I see are the animals hit by cars.
I watch a program on the television called "Nature". I always want the animals to be successful. Sometimes I like the animals so much and do not want it to become lunch or dinner.
When I see a group of feathers I know the feeling of, "Oh, dear."
It is clearning this morning and is to be a cold day. At least we have sunshine.

Q said...

Dear Jayne,
Oh! We love the Gold Finches. They have a sweet song and a sweet call. They are so bright and cheerful, flying rays of sunshine.
This is one of those cases that is hard, I love the Gold Finches, never too many of them. Like the Blue Birds and all the song birds, we love them! Not good Hawk food!
When that happens, I feel sad. I know Mother Nature doesn't think one species is better than another. It is when I put my feelings onto the birds and I become attached I feel the happy or the sad. If I can just step back a bit...It is when I humanize the animal world I fail to learn how to live in harmony.
Still I chase the Starlings and the Squirrels out of the feeders!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Amazing to witness such a catch at close range.
And wonderful photos of her, too!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
Thank you. I noticed you referred to Cooper's as a she. I think you are much better at bird id than I. Maybe you could tell me how you know Cooper's is a female. I never can decide.
It is thrilling to watch her up close.