Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chimpunk Outruns Hawk

Previously, we enjoyed a squirrel out-foxing the fox and a squirrel getting the best of a hawk. This afternoon, we had a similar encounter between one of the chipmunks and a hawk. For some reason, the chipmunk population has declined since early July (because of the fox???), so I enjoyed this chipmunk’s visit to eat sunflower seeds that had fallen from the bird feeder.

This chipmunk and one cardinal were enjoying the seeds when all of a sudden everyone cleared. The chipmunk dashed for cover in one of his favorite shrub hiding places. This sudden clearing is a sure sign that some one higher in the food chain has arrived. As the fox was not present, I began to check the trees for a hawk. Sure enough, a hawk had flown into the dogwood tree. This is the same dogwood tree where the fox cornered a squirrel last weekend.

I ran downstairs, grapping the camera on the way, and headed for the porch. As I arrived on the porch, the hawk took off. It was clear that the hawk was slightly larger than a blue jay (but not larger than a crow), dark above, and banding on the tail. The hawk stayed about 20 feet off the ground and flew around to the other side of the Habitat (I know, I really owe all of you a map of the Habitat), and landed in one of the maple trees. I managed to get this one photo of the hawk before he took off.

Given his size and breast and tail coloring, I believe that this was a Sharp-shinned Hawk. You may recall that we had another hawk visit a few weeks ago that went unphotographed. I am finding that the hawks are very easy to photograph when they are high in the sky, but extremely difficult to photograph when they are in flight close to the ground or perched. The hawks are quick in flight, do not perch long, and fly away whenever approached. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:25 PM

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