Daily Archives: December 30, 2009

a hawk visits the library

A few days ago, some of the librarians and patrons here at CLP Main were lucky enough to catch a rare sight: a large, white and brown bird landed in one of the mulberry trees just outside of the main entrance, and proceeded to eat her lunch: a freshly caught squirrel. 

While we aren’t exactly expert bird-watchers, we do know where to look to identify a feathered creature, and our guess is that this particular bird is a juvenile red-tailed hawk. That might explain her unusual perch.  As WQED’s Kate St. John writes on her blog Outside My Window: A Bird Watcher’s View of the World, juvenile hawks can be boldly unruffled by human proximity when they’re hungry.  This particular hawk was equally blasé about the nearby humans, the below-freezing temperature, and the ferociously icy winds that stirred her feathers.

Because the mulberry tree is relatively short and very close to the building, the hawk’s position created the  opportunity to get very close to a truly impressive natural sight and take some photos! Lucky for us (but not for the squirrel). 

A caution, gentle readers, some of these shots are a little graphic.

juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel

juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel

juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel - lensflare

juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel - twisting tree

juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel - paparazzi

juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel 10

 juvenile red-tailed hawk with squirrel - eating

Happy New Year, everyone.  May you clobber the squirrelly troubles of the past year with clear-sightedness, feathery grace, and talon-sharp fierceness and internalize their lessons to fuel your flight in the year to come.

-Renée

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