Sometimes nature comes to you…

I had every intention of going to Estabrook today, but sometimes life just gets in the way, and I don’t mean to rest on my laurels, I swear! Luckily, for us, however, nature came to find me instead.

I had just started on my trek to the grocery store this afternoon, when I noticed a couple across the street pointing at something over my head. It turns out that long-time reader Austin was pointing out to his neighbor a red-tailed hawk in the oak tree right above me. Ever the gentleman, Austin credited his wife with the original spot. Either way, I immediately ran back home to get my camera, and this is what I have to show for it.

It’s clearly a good-sized hawk with some gray mammal. At the time, the hind foot made me think rabbit.

From this side, we can finally see the name-sake red tail on the hawk and the long tail on the squirrel, not rabbit.

Here’s just a nice profile view of the hawk.

As I was standing in the middle of the street trying to get the best picture I could, a Shorewood Police vehicle pulled up, and the officer asked me what I’d found. I pointed out the hawk, the officer said, “I won’t scare it away on you”, rolled up his window, and rolled away, at which point the hawk promptly took its catch to another tree up the block. Fickle bird.

Anyway, it worked in our favor because up the block, I was able to catch it with its gorgeous wings extended.

Here’s one more shot of some plumage you might not otherwise get to see.

Finally, here’s a better look at one of its awesome claws.

Of the umpteen varieties of red-tailed hawk cataloged by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I’m leaning toward “adult (borealis)“. How about you?

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

5 thoughts on “Sometimes nature comes to you…

  1. The hawk’s prey was a squirrel. The tail is a big clue. We’ve had hawks in our Whitefish Bay backyard and, one time, the squirrel that was there froze until the hawk flew away. You find the most amazing creatures.

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