Saturday, February 5, 2011

Death from Above

One of the places I like to visit is the Humber Arboretum. With the many trails through the large green space, your chances of encountering nature are pretty high, from squirrels, to woodpeckers, and even deer.
Recently I was out and saw two things I had never seen before. One was a Pheasant,

calmy eating seed from atop of a manhole cover, and the other was a Hawk, in the process of cleaning up his "dinner"!

Downy Woodpeckers are a very common woodpecker. If you here knocking in the woods, its likely a Downy. Some of them are as brave as Chickadees, and will land right on your hand to take a peanut.

But while these birds are flying through the trees, circling above is the hawk. Unfortunately for the small birds, Humber Arboretum had litterally set up a "buffet" for the hawks! There is a large feeding area, stocked by the Arboretum, which keeps lots of the small birds in one area.

Obviously a hawk took advantage of the situation and swooped into the birds, catch a downy. It flew over to a branch and proceed to, well, the best way to describe it is to say it started plucking it, using its powerfull beak to strip the feathers from the dead bird.

It was fascinating to see this, as while I had seen both types of birds before, this was the first time I had seen a hawk in action, in a "strong will survive" situation.

I'm always amazed at just how close "nature" really is, even in the city!

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