Talk about Wild Kingdom! I was walking in Forest Lawn Cemetery and I see, some yards away on the bank of the creek, this big bird. He was perched on the ground and he was eating something.
You know me and the Seek app, I had to try to get a picture of this bird to identify it. It took many pictures -- the Seek app is finicky -- however just as I was about to give up, it told me what the bird was.
It was a Red-Shouldered Hawk!
And he was having his lunch.
It is kind of horrifying to see a hawk having his lunch. As Howard said later, you know that whatever he was eating had been having a nice day until he was lifted up by this hawk, carried to high heights, then dropped to the ground so as to be stunned, and then eaten. That is what Howard says hawks do.
What about Howard Hawks, the great movie director?
I felt like him when I was filming this hawk!
Here is some footage I took of the dramatic scene. Warning: Gross!
I kept filming the hawk off and on, edging a bit closer. I must have been about 15, 20 feet away from him finally. I didn't want to go away, you know? This is the only time in my life I will have this experience. I will never again be this close to a hawk eating his lunch.
The hawk kept glancing up, as you can see in the video. He was always on the watch for something that might want to take his kill away from him. He would glance at me too from time to time, however I think he understood that I didn't want a bite.
The video at the top of this post is pretty graphic. I think his meal might have been a squirrel.
That was what this other bird was eating once, this big bird up in a tree. I thought I had written about it but now I cannot find it.
I will have to dig out those photos and we can compare and contrast!