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Welcome to Riverswind notes

I hope you will join in my adventures here in Humboldt County and elsewhere as I explore nature & people.

I welcome your comments.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hawk slams dove against my window

Recently while working at my computer I was startled by a loud slam against my window and looked up and saw some feathers stuck to it.
I jumped up out of my chair and saw an adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk mantling over a Mourning Dove on the deck below my window.
I ran for my camera as the hawk flew down below about 20 yards away and with it he carried the dove clutched firmly in it's talons.

The dove was eating chicken feed that I put out periodically for them and Quail.
Feathers near the chicken scratch indicate that the dove was hit first on the ground
then it must have escaped toward my window when it was caught again.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) is a bird a little larger than a Robin that often hunts near homes with bird feeders.

While concealing itself in the forest canopy it waits for the opportunity to surprise it's prey.
It is "lightning quick" using the ambush technique to it's great advantage.

On this occasion it was successful and I watched it hold on to the
struggling dove until there was no longer any movement.

It flew to a branch of a Redwood tree and plucked the feathers to the skin
and devoured it's meal piece by piece.

For me it was a unique and rare opportunity to witness nature in action at its most defining moment.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! Great that the hawk let you photograph his exploits.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Wow, quite an observation, and great photos. We saw a similar event years back in n. VA -- same cast of characters. It was a cold winter day, and the hawk polished off that dove in one day. The only window collision was when an ss hawk was after a robin; and I watched the rabin fly away with one dangling leg--presumably broken. Doubt that it lived long after that.