Monday, February 8, 2010

Close encounter of the Sharp-shinned kind

Had an interesting experience with a Sharp-Shinned Hawk this morning. I was walking along a sidewalk and noticed some motion in a hedge about 50 feet ahead of me. The hedge was some kind of deciduous bush right next to the sidewalk and maybe three feet high. As I got closer I realized the motion I saw was a Sharp-shinned Hawk sitting on top of the hedge.

The bird would alternate sticking its feet down into the hedge with poking its head into the bush. When its head was in the hedge I would move forward, and then stop when its head popped out. As I got closer I could hear a House Sparrow calling frantically. The Sharpie was so engrossed in extricating the HOSP from the hedge that I was able to get within about five feet or so.

Then the Sharpie succeeded in snagging the HOSP. At about the same time it realized I was nearby, so it flew away with its prey to enjoy a more private breakfast. Very cool experience!

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