Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Laws of Nature

As I was driving through a residential area of Vicksburg one day last week, I glimpsed something sitting on an electrical line that was suspended over a backyard. I did a double take, and had to stop and back up to be sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.

Sure enough — sitting on the electrical wire was this big, beautiful bird:

Right after I snapped that picture (with my zoom lens), he flew down into the yard, and I managed to get one more shot of him:

About that time, I noticed movement in a tree in the back yard, and was delighted to see this little guy perched on a limb of the tree, almost completely camouflaged by the branches:

Isn't he adorable — just look at that sweet face!

I was so excited, and wanted to get closer to him, but there was a chain link fence separating us, so I had to be content with the pictures I could capture with my zoom lens. I couldn't wait to get home to see the pictures on my computer so I could identify the birds. I could tell they were babies because they weren't very "skittish," especially the one in the tree.

After Googling "owls" and "hawks," I found that the best description fitting "my birds," was the one of a hawk called a Cooper's Hawk.

The habitats of Cooper's Hawks range from deep forests to leafy subdivisions and backyards, so that would fit the ones I saw — but I didn't care for the rest of the description, which read:

Among the bird world’s most skillful flyers, Cooper’s Hawks are common woodland hawks that tear through cluttered tree canopies in high speed pursuit of other birds. You’re most likely to see one prowling above a forest edge or field using just a few stiff wing beats followed by a glide. They are sometimes unwanted guests at bird feeders, looking for an easy meal (and that doesn't mean sunflower seeds, folks!).

I shudder at the thought of that sweet baby hawk stalking other birds, but "survival of the fittest" is one of Nature's most cruel laws — and, as the saying goes, "The bird hunting a locust is unaware of the hawk hunting him.”

So, as Miss Scarlett said, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

9 comments:

Erica said...

What a beautiful bird.....I live way up north in Toronto and the odd time we also have a similar bird hanging around our backyard. Someone told me it was an eagle. I always thought that it hung around b/c of the huge crabapple trees that we have and tons of birds for him to prey upon.
Thanks for sharing your great pictures.

racheld said...

Think of the smooth curve of the head, the perfect pattern of the rippling rows of feathers, the bright eyes, the awesome glide of that cosmic mystery---flight.

They know their place in the order of things, though we wish it could be a different one, and they serve it well, for their flight may hold as much Praise as our Music.

Deb said...

what a beautiful bird...you got some really good photos...

Stacey said...

Aren't they beautiful? We have Cooper's Hawks here in our neighborhood because it is very wooded. In the spring and summer while nesting, they are pretty aggressive. It is not unusual for them to swoop down and whack you in the head if you are near the tree where the nest is.

We also have lots of red tail hawks. Apparently hawks like the combination of trees/fields and the mild weather we usually have. They migrate here from further north and the ones who live here stay. They are beautiful.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

You got some great shots Janie, I saw a grown one several weeks ago as I drove to McComb, he was sitting on a light pole beside I-55. And I didn't have my camera..sigh..he was more skittish than your young ones, when a car pulled over he flew off into the woods.
Thanks for sharing the info, we have to realize God has a plan for ever creature he created wheather it fits our plan or not. These Hawks also eat tiny rodents and pest.
Molly

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I always catch my breath when I see a hawk, Janie. They are the most beautiful birds, and these two are absolutely adorable babies. I'm so glad you caught them for us!

Hope the weather in Mississippi is improving for you. We had a lovely day here today, though I'm still under the weather and inside. I think, however, that I have turned the corner for which I give thanks.

Sending you warm hugs across the miles. Thank you SO much for sharing your extraordinary gift with us...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Carolyn said...

Beautiful picture of the hawks. We have a pair that nest in one of our oak trees each year. I loved watching them until I saw them dive bomb at the wood duck babies! They are magnificent birds and you are right, they are just doing what God intended.
Carolyn

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

These pics are wonderful! I learned something today by visiting your blog!

Jenni said...

breathtaking photos! beautiful and stunning. glad you were "in the right place at the right time."