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Hot bird action

Unfortunately, the title of this entry is quite literal: Last week a hawk died in our neighborhood. As the poor thing expired, it managed to take out a transformer and blow a power line —rendering our block powerless until dinnertime. It had (the remains of) a squirrel, so one theory was that as the squirrel struggled, one of the creatures grabbed onto another wire…then POOOW! Yep, loud bang and smoke resulting in an ex-hawk, ex-squirrel, and no electricity. 🙁

There wasn’t much of the miserable rodent left. But my morbid curiosity (with permission from PG&E and the fire department) allowed me some picture taking. I think it was a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, or possibly a Cooper’s Hawk. Hard to tell, with its belly singed and tail obscured. (I restrained myself from turning it over.)

Continue onward to view a raptor memorial, as well as for additional bird news. I.e., this serves as a warning about a dead animal photo; it’s isn’t gross IMO, just sad, really.

If you want to see other pictures of this incident, let me know and I’ll send you links. They’re more gruesome compared with the one below, so I’ve hidden them somewhat.

dead hawk;-(

However, on a much lighter note, and also related to the title, we’ve been watching a pair of Mockingbirds making a nest in one of the honeysuckle bushes. It’d be great to have a mockie family in the yard. I just hope they aren’t in danger of rodential or feline harassment, since the bush is on a not-so-high fence.

Mockingbird barooMockingbird sez, “Eh? Wot?”

It is a definite pleasure to watch and listen El Mocko sing on our chimney. They are so cute while in gathering or bathing mode. (So far neither has decided to dive-bomb us, which would be awkward; they do swoop at cats that meander into the yard, though.) One of them was torn between hiding away, taking a bath and checking me out. Such smart chaps!

No avian tenants yet in the birdhouse, even though we still Chickadees and Oaktits in the yard. Wrens continue to sing loudly and fly about; they’ve been carrying snacks and nesting bits, but it’s unclear where their nest is.

Update 10:30am: I had written this entry on 23 March. This morning, however, I saw a Mockingbird egg on the fence near the honeysuckle. My guess is maybe our neighbors saw it on the ground and placed it there. My other guess is the local Bewick’s Wrens might’ve been the culprit who knocked it out of the nest in the first place. (Or the House Sparrows, or the California Towhees eyeing the bush; they’re other birds seen in the vicinity.) Or maybe a neighborhood cat popped it out…though the honeysuckle seems too dense for anything larger than a small bird. Many suspects. I still hear the mockie singing, but I’m crestfallen because I doubt they’ll continue to nest nearby.

Update this evening: I’ve seen the Mockingbird fly into the bush twice since I last wrote. Perhaps there’s hope for viable clutch and fledglings this year! (S/he could’ve been moving nesting material to another location. Who knows?) Those beasts are certainly persistent.

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