I have mixed emotions about the recent visitors to our garden. On one hand I have been searching the woods for as far back as I can remember to get a decent view of a hawk, but nary a one came into view. The only ones I have seen have been on telephone wires when we have been out in the car in heavy traffic, where it has been impossible to stop and get a good photo. The other night we were relaxing in front of the TV, and the adult Cooper's Hawk (in the photo below) landed on the rail of our deck out back. I posted about him at the end of my Monday Ramble. I almost dropped off my seat when I saw it and grabbed the camera. I haven't seen one in our yard for many years and I was as pleased as punch, but I worried for our other feathered friends who visit the bird feeders frequently, not to mention the squirrels. When he left I thought it might be the last time I saw him.
Well, what do you know, the next evening the juvenile Cooper's Hawk landed in exactly the same spot as what I am presuming was his parent. We think that perhaps he is being taught how to hunt by his mum or dad, not sure whether that adult is a male or a female. He wasn't as skittish as his parent who had flown away when it saw me pointing my camera at it the previous night. The young one hasn't learned to be afraid of humans yet, as he was too interested in what was in the trees to be bothered with us, and I was able to get a dozen shots of him before he went on his way.
My third sighting was just now when I suddenly saw something land on a branch in one of the trees. I knew who had come back - it was the adult - and I quickly grabbed the camera again, but this time he was too far away for a decent photo as many branches obscured my view. He was obviously hunting and this is where my mixed emotions come in. I have become very attached to all the little visitors to my bird feeders, and although I recognize this beautiful bird has the right to survive, I fear for their survival as well. However, I know this is the cycle of life and is nature's way.
I had one more visitor last night, this time around midnight. When I turned the light on to check out back, as I always do before I go to bed - policeman's daughter to the end - I saw my little bandit had returned. I'm talking about a smallish sized raccoon busily eating the bird seed. I have a new feeder and he was sticking his paws in the slit along the ledge, to grasp anything he could get a hold of. He also knew I was there but he didn't give a hoot. In fact, he nonchalantly climbed down the rail, ambled over to the water dish, took one look at me, took a long drink and just as nonchalantly went back up to the feeder and continued feeding. I watched him for another ten to 15 minutes before he disappeared down the steps. It's been quite a week for wildlife and I haven't even had to leave the house.
Michelle is the host of Nature Notes. Thank you Michelle for this great meme.