Time of Walk: 2:30 PM
Temperature: 25° F (felt like 13°)
Weather: Mostly cloudy with almost an inch of new snow on the ground
Despite being the sixth consecutive day with below average temperatures, I decided to walk outdoors and stayed in my neighborhood today. As I navigated the sidewalks through town, I was surprised by how many footprints there were already in the snow that had just fallen overnight.
As suburbs go, our neighborhood has a lot of foot traffic with dog walkers and commuters walking to and from public transportation. Back in the day when I was one of those commuters trudging home in the snow (not always planning ahead and wearing boots), I wouldn’t go so far as to curse those who didn’t shovel the walk in front of their homes, but I certainly blessed those who did!
After saying yesterday that this is not a bird photography blog, I do need to tell a bird story–and document it with poor quality pictures! While on my driveway*, something SWOOPED directly over my head accompanied by an awful chirping sound. I heard a thud near the back of our car parked nearby. Among a flurry of feathers, I could see bright red, a male cardinal I assume, and what must be a hawk under our car!
The hawk then flew over to my neighbor’s yard, where he sat on the grass for a few minutes. With my hands still shaking from the swooping and possible carnage, I was barely able to snap this picture with my phone:
Not that I’m a nature CSI or anything, but with only one tiny drop of blood and two small feathers (and no visible red bird under the hawk above), I’m thinking the cardinal got away under my car, perhaps slightly injured.
After some research, I believe I saw either a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Because the Sharp-shinned hawk is more common and is slightly smaller, I’m guessing that’s what I saw. Here are some public domain renderings of these accipiters that have me feeling rather sad about the dead rose-breasted grosbeak and meadowlark.
*To protect the integrity of this blog, I have to admit that this actually happened as I was getting out of my car this morning after dropping my son at school, not after my walk. But it did actually happen!
Good day, good walk.