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06 January 2010

The circle of life...with a bloody ending

A couple of weeks ago a friend at work told me she saw some beautiful cedar waxwings eating berries in the trees. I have loved cedar waxwings ever since ornithology class in college (can you say NERD) and was super amped to see these birds in person for the first time. You see, cedar waxwings don't hang around Georgia for long, they generally use us either as winter nesting ground or as a stop in their migration route. Their call is an interesting high pitched whistle and they love berries. Click this link to see a picture Anyhoo, I went and saw about 15 of these cuties munching on some berries outside my office. At that moment I decided I must bring my camera to work tomorrow with my 80-300 zoom lens and a tripod. Shockingly enough I remembered to bring my camera the next morning. As I was walking in to work with camera (no case) in hand a hawk swooped in front of me and landed on a low hanging tree limb right next to the parking area. I immediately put my camera to my eye and turned it on. As I was zooming in I heard a bird screeching loudly and then witnessed the hawk fly into an evergreen next to his low hanging limb and land on the ground with this bird in his grip. At once I snapped a couple of photos quickly and then realized auto focus was off which I quickly changed, which is why the first photo is so blurry. I still wanted to include it so you could see the hawk sitting on the blue jay. The Blue Jays mate screamed for awhile and eventually quieted down. I took some photos while the Hawk was on the ground squeezing the jay to death and then the hawk flew off to enjoy his meal alone. The lesson learned is to always keep a camera handy and never have it on on manual focus.. just in case.

Hawk with Jay in his grasp- just caught it

Hawk waiting for blye jay to die
Hawk right before he flew off


t said...

I love blue jays. They taste like baby seal!


Jason Riedy said...

Yay Cooper's Hawks! Love 'em!

Stephie Z said...

Thanks for checking out my blog jason!