Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life and death struggles

Although I'm not a big fan of winter and its bitter coldness, 
there is one thing I do like about it.
Tree limbs that are bare,
allowing me such better views of all my feathered friends.

This winter, I added a different feeder which has been quite popular.
Of course, any feeder with food in it is popular.
Who am I kidding?

The nuthatches and chickadees love it and work hard finding just the right sunflower seed and fly off to crack the seed open on a nearby branch, and then back for more.  
They must do this hundreds of times throughout the day.

Among all my feathered friends, though, the red-bellied woodpecker is my favorite.
A male and female feed daily.

Always searching for the peanuts.  
They seem to like those best.

Of course, with so many feeders and birds,
a Cooper's Hawk frequently checks out my backyard.
Occasionally, he gets lucky.
But today, 
he did not.

Sitting at my desk, I suddenly heard loud screeching sounds and the sudden upflight of birds from my feeders.  I looked out and saw that the Cooper's Hawk had my female red-bellied woodpecker down on the ground.  The woodpecker was fighting furiously.  I jumped up and ran outside, clapping and yelling at the hawk.  He tried to fly with the woodpecker still in his clutches but could not gain any altitude.  I chased him and came within five feet before he let go of the woodpecker and they both flew up into nearby trees.

I'm sure the hawk was not pleased with his lost meal.  I stood under the tree where the woodpecker flew up into.  Although I couldn't see her, she called out to her partner who was in another tree across the yard.  They each took turns calling back and forth to each other.

I hope she survives.  But then, those hawk talons are pretty huge.  Neither woodpecker came back to visit today.  I hope I see them tomorrow.  And as for the hawk?  I'm sure it was a needed meal. Guess I would never make a good wild kingdom photographer ... I'd always be trying to save the hunted victims!

: : :

On another note, I would like to thank all of you
for your comments on my mother's passing.
She was 76 years young.
Gone ... too suddenly.
Being diagnosed with cancer.
6 weeks ago.
If you smoke.
This moment.
If not for you,
then for those who love you.

~ ~ ~