Saturday, January 24, 2009
National Geographic episode here at home
Java and I had another excellent trail ride on Friday. A little more challenging than normal (my fault, I did not know the stream was THAT deep), but so fun, and she had a blast, at times galloping through the snow. We were almost home, in our woods, and all of the sudden she spooked and jumped forward erratically. At the same time I heard something go past us behind me. It is very unusual for her to spook like that, so I looked around and... it's a hawk who has just caught a squirrel and is quietly sealing it's fate. Poor squirrel, but SO COOL.
Here are it's claw marks where it must have picked up the squirrel. And, if you look closely at the top left of the photo you can see an impression in the snow of the end of it's wings as it snatched up it's feast. It then moved and hid behind the tree to kill the squirrel and eat. It left the leftovers for the fox that I'm sure lives here too. I'm glad they share.
This is the hawk I saw, not THE one, but a photo of the same bird. Yes, it was a Red Tailed Hawk, I confirmed with with my handy dandy guide book that I took out from the library because I like pretending that I'm a geek. Apparently they are very common, and only kill a few squirrels each year (and I got to see one!). Actually, I like hearing the bird noises and matching them with the book so I can figure what is in the woods. So far I know of at least one Red Tailed Hawk and what sounds like a few Great Horned Owls.