Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How Long Does it Take to Eat a Feeder Bird??

Yesterday's afternoon visitor, either a Sharpie or Cooper's Hawk, swooped in at 5:15 p.m. and departed at 5:38 p.m. sharp, so you do the math, not very long. 

I also erred yesterday, as the menu was not a Chickadee, yet I was unable to identify it, as by the end of the feeding frenzy, there wasn't much left to look for in the diagnostics department :-(

So here goes, in chronological order, the first photo was taken through our kitchen window, with the best view of our poor vic:

It then flew up into one of our ash trees, so I ran upstairs, slid open the bathroom window, removed the screen, and literally hung out of the window for the next twenty minutes hoping no neighbours would call the cops on me. The hawk was so focused on its meal that it didn't pay any attention to me:

...a juicy morsel in its mouth:

It now has one of the vic's feet in its beak, ewwwwwww....

...and down the hatch it goes, no one can say it leaves anything behind:

...can't get any fresher than this, see the flesh in its beak:

All birds do is try to survive each and every day- end of story.

Not a happy ending for my feeder bird, though.

Check out some stray feathers, such a sloppy eater:

All of a sudden, a dumbass brave Black Squirrel below the tree caught the hawk's attention.

I held my breath as well as my grip on the window frame.

The hawk had fought too hard for this meal, so continued to hold fast with its prey: 

...but it eventually returned to feeding, there's not much left to consume now:

The buffet winds down:

...but now it gets gruesome. Remember: the hawk's only trying to stay alive for another day:

...hardly anything left now:

Surprisingly, another hawk flew into the same tree and then they both flew off together, so that was the end of that!!

As for our visiting Pacific Loon, I returned to Oshawa harbour this morning but was unsuccessful in re-locating him. However, a group of us did find the winter plumage Red-throated Loon bobbing up and down on the lake visible from Bonnie Brae Point, just west of the harbour. I managed to find a way down to the beach to get a closer view of it in the surf to truly validate Sunday's "tick" for my Life List, and then left for Thickson's Woods to chase some reported Boreal Chickadees with no luck, though. BTW, I'm sooo far over to the Dark Side now that I'm not only scaring my family, but myself now, as well....

As for the balance of yesterday, a few bizarre things are worth sharing, beginning with meeting Lev Frid, a birder who frequently posts on Ontbirds. We had all assumed he was a older, retired chap, but were totally gobsmacked when we realized he was a young kid in his twenties who's working on a Big Year! Even more bizarre was listening to Richard Pope converse with young Lev at great length in Russian on the pier in Oshawa!

A direct reply back to me on e-mail from David Sibley (for my non-birding friends: a highly respected author and illustrator of books about birds and birding and now trees) was unexpected too. I had written him for fun with a query about his new eguide birding application, as I unsuccessfully tried to look up "Pacific Loon" yesterday on my iTouch. He replied back within an hour, saying that it indeed was missing from the Ontario list, but would be corrected and added to the database the next time around. How cool was that??!!

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