Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cute bird anecdote

I'm still miserably sick, but I observed a very entertaining bird spectacle this morning that I thought was worth writing about. I was proceeding out of the house this morning, naturally bundled like Nanook of the North. Did I mention that I was sick? And that I'm miserable? Right. So anyway, Hank is up ahead playing in the drivers seat of my parked car. As I head out, I hear some pretty pissed off sounding crows caw-ing like there is no tomorrow. I'm sure you're all familiar with our friends, the American Crow:

I look up, and there is an angry gaggle of 3 crows in the tree in our neighbors yard. Crows always sound like they have a lot on their minds, but this morning in particular, these guys sounded downright surly. They were all bunched together too, like they were having an emotion-filled meeting about something. Then I noticed *it*. On a branch below them, sat a giant, giant ass hawk. I soon discerned that it was a Red-tailed Hawk:

These are formidable looking birds. BIG. And as you might expect, he was pretty nonchalant about the presence of our friends the crows. While they caw-ed their little black heads off, he was doing the bird equivalent of calmly inspecting his manicure. You could see the crows gather, confer:

"dude, WTF!! He's in *our* tree. We *need* to get rid of him!!"

The crows continued on, undeterred. They were actually aiming their little beaks with the angry caws, right in the hawk's face. At this point, I'm standing in my driveway, just staring up at the birds. It was like getting free Discovery Channel. A few crows in a nearby tree caw-ed in sympathy.

Finally, some action. The crows got together and drew straws. The one that got the short one gathered himself, and flew over to perch next to the hawk, caw-ing courageously the whole way. At long last, the hawk appeared to actually notice their existence. He shifted, and then lifted his considerable wingspan and flew off. The crows banded together and flew after him, escorting him out of the neighborhood in satisfaction of a job well done.

I rushed, pink cheeked, to the car, to tell Hank all about the birdies. Suddenly, I hear the crows again. I hurry back to the driveway, and what do I see? The hawk, perched with a smirk of condescension plastered on his face, right back in the same tree. The crows are gathered nearby, and they're frantic:

"What the hell?! Damn it!"

By this point, they are emboldened and angry. Multple crows fly right in the hawk's face and caw. He gets up, flies away, and comes right back. By this time, Hank is in the driveway with me:

"Birdies! Oh, they no like that big birdie, do they mommy?"

I had to leave, so I bundled Hank into the car. As I pulled away, I spotted the hawk securely perched on the tree, ignoring the crows, while they caw-ed away nearby. I was seriously enamored with the entire interaction.

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