Accipiter in Mammoth

Observers: Donna Willey
Date: 09/19/2007
Time: 01:40 PM -0400

Storm's coming, wind's up...leaves churning and Mammoth is getting cold. What may be Sharp-shinned Hawk wants his breakfast. Have you ever noticed when the wind blows and there is a wet bite to the air raptors seem to appear, almost like they were blown off their hidden courses their flight across the upperparts becomes purposeful; a stealth bomber on attack, looking, seeking, striving... oh, hungry bird where you going today??? Yesterday, we did have some great excitement in my emerald garden... birds flying across the trees, trying to alight on the birch tree in the center of the garden... there the hose burbled along making everything wet and cool. One moment everything busy chattering birds the next moment the sound of wings as the songbirds took to the air and before I knew what was going on, before my mind could process the change, one large form hurtled into the garden and alighted several feet from where I sat hidden; camera in hand. Big eyes looking over the yard, not a passerine in sight, dead quite, the ticking of my watch, the beating of my heart... time passed, we sat still and hidden, the little birds and I... then Accipiter flew to the aspen and I took some shots with a failing camera through thick leaf cover, but the shots are good enough to see that hawk came pretty close to some poor bird...look for the feathers still caught in his talons...