Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Mobbed Hawk

This is a Crow, but what I first saw was a HAWK in a different tree.

I'd been at a meeting and was on the way from the facilities when I heard squirrels whining and Crows calling. I was inside a building, near the door yes, but still. I opened the door, went out on the big porch and looked up. Glory be, there's a hawk in that Oak Tree! Actually I saw a hawk's back. No discernible light spots on this hawk's back, in fact for a moment I wondered if it could be an owl as it was getting close to sunset and she was back lit.

I ran into the building, shuffled through the crowd, grabbed my camera, shuffled back through the crowd and--you guessed it. The hawk was gone. So then it was about chasing screaming crows hoping to find her.

I did note, that the Crows were not making their usual three or five caw vocalization. This was staccato, yes, but more like a crow scream. These were some heated up birds. One Crow would make the repeated scream cry and then change positions.. Fly to the new perch and then continue the scream vocalization and with each one his tail would fan out. See the photo above. Then it was time for another to repeat the sequence.

Then suddenly into the dense evergreen they all went, one right after the other.

I saw portions of back lit Crows in a small section of branches, moving around, heads bobbing, jerking to and fro, and above all the screaming cries. After a few minutes, they all took off out the other side, I assume after the hawk they'd flushed back there and then flew into a quadrant of fenced back yards, where I could not go.
It was disappointing not to see more of the hawk, but that's just fine, as I now have a new Crow mystery to solve.
Donegal Browne

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