Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

19 May 2012

while the other person runs and hides

Listen to this: Whilst riding singletrack- OK, OK, doubletrack- to work, I could hear the conversation between 2 hawks taking place well over my head. It sounded like 1 was treebound and the other was coming in, and my assumption/hope was it was a pair and I might could see some babies. So I picked up the pace and came under the ~60' Monterey Pine as the flyer landed 5' away from it's mate.

It was a pair of  Red Tail Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), which are big- chicken sized. The flyer paused for 20 seconds, during which time I scanned the tree for a nest to no avail, and then it took off. A few more seconds and the other attempted to take off, only to stick there flapping and tugging. The only explanation to pop into my head was that it perhaps it was tagged and the tag had gotten tangled in the limb. I considered who I could contact to help. It was a loooong way up and out a skinny branch above inaccessible terrain. Meanwhile the hawk was dangling upside down by one leg, swaying in small arcs. It was worrisome. Then the hawk flapped very hard a couple times and the branch cracked loudly. The hawk took off, and the branch fell away revealing a long dangling strip of shiny...ribbon?

It was a snake. The hawk had caught a snake and landed in the tree. The snake had wrapped itself around the branch and wouldn't let go while the hawk tried to wrestle it free with the dangling and swaying. The hawk flew across the small valley to light in another tree and bent it's head to eat that snake. Whereupon a bluejay began dive bombing it.

Some days are hard.

That is a True Story, and I witnessed it by commuting to work via trails. Amazing.

1 comment:

Lord Hayden said...

That fucking rules. Seriously.

Makes me depressed that I leave my house in the morning to go move pixels around on a screen, while hawks are out there breaking tree limbs w/ snakes and hanging upside down.

Can't say my (walking) commute can match up, but there is a lot of rotting blubber along the beach b/t Monterey and Seaside. Maybe I'll see some bird battle over a dead whale someday.

Speaking of baby owls have you seen the cover of this week's Piney Cone?