Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Noisy on the Western Front

It is a fact that Red Tail Hawks are the most common hawks in North America but I never tire of seeing them. We've had a terrible problem with ground squirrels this year, scads of them have ravaged my garden eating all my berries in a day then ripping green peaches from the tree and running off with them. Gardening is always a battle and this year I gave up. I used to live trap the little devils and move them off but this year I just didn't feel like it.

And now I don't have to because the army has arrived in the nick of time.

We counted five hawks on Sunday hunting around the house and garden, flying overhead then folding into tight balls and plunging to the ground, causing such a noisy ruckus it could have raised the dead, perching, SCREAMING, tearing.

They put on a show..........

quite a show as a pair of adults were teaching the young ones the ropes.

There was blood and guts, this one refusing to share......

strawberry flavored squirrel.

*sorry if you're squeamish about these things, real life isn't always pretty.


That's why we like jewelry so much!

Some armies wear dog tags and some wear feathers to war.

This one is for the night hunters.

I was so lucky to have spent so much time viewing the owls by daylight this spring. Though I've searched high and often these days, I have not found a single one of them even though I'm finding beautiful molted owl feathers nearly each time I hike and I can hear them from my bed in the black of night.

What types birds are entertaining you these days? Who's bringing the popcorn and Junior Mints?

xo Ro


  1. Oh, those hawks are beautiful! I need some over here, we have tons of ground squirrels ruining my garden. They drive me nuts. They drive my dog Bingo nuts too, always taunting him just out of reach. (So I must admit that your strawberry flavored squirrel made me laugh)
    Gorgeous necklaces! Especially the night hunter one, what a striking stone!

  2. Oh gosh I know just how you feel DJ, Banjo has gotten a few and I'm not sad about that, my little Yorkie even had one pinned, it's a terrible problem to have and the dogs are crazy all day.

    It's amazing how they can clean out every ripe strawberry in about a day. The mockingbirds are mimicking squirrel cheeps..... ARGH@#$! I know why Donald Duck (the farmer) used to loose his mind :) :) :)

    Thank you about the jewelry SUCH a pretty Montana Agate... hoping an army is headed your way!!! Listen for patriotic music :)

  3. wow, the red tail army to the rescue! Its amazing they know where to find their food, in your back yard! wow.
    boy, oh boy I love that Montana agate! what a beauty.

    1. Isn't is something Deb!

      I bet they heard the mockingbirds :)

      I love that pretty agate too......yummy

  4. Crop that hawk profile photo (#2) a little tighter and it may be inspiration for one of Bryce's paintings.

    Great photos.

    We are entertained constantly by Cat Birds, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Orioles. The Orioles like to announce themselves when they stop in for some grape jelly. The Blue Jays dive bomb our cats when they walk out in the open yard. They are a noisy gang. The cats just act annoyed with ears flat back, trying not to notice too much!

    We have a pair of Red Tailed Hawks nearby too. I love to watch them circle around the fields on their hunt.

    Love your pendants. Not surprised that you sold one already!

    : ) xo

    1. He does use them sometimes Cinder :)

      Oh boy, it sounds like The Agony and Ecstasy at your place, don't you love it!

      pop the corn!!


    2. : )

      I do love it!

      Never a dull moment.

  5. I love the hawk pictures. We had so many of them in Arkansas but I never had the opportunity to photograph them...your pictures are beautiful as is the jewelry.

    1. Thank you Sandi, I bet you miss living in the country but the red tails are thick in the city too. My son saw one eating a squirrel in the bike lane of a busy street the other day.

      Thank you about the jewelry too.

  6. Last evening we watched the young hawks practicing hovering in the thermals with their parents...it was spectacular, and as you say, a great show! Right above our neighbourhood. Love your pendants--esp. the silver hawk pendant!

  7. Glad you were there to enjoy, so spectacular! The photo of the one with outstretched wings is not cropped, that bird was but a few feet above and the ones feeding my husband took from about six feet away.

    I can hear them scream on and off all day, so glad the cleanup crew arrived :)

  8. The hawks are even out here Ro! However, I suppose they prefer your landscape over ours. Those necklaces are beauties. xo

    1. I think they are superbly adaptable and are happy right where they are. We drove to Laguna on Sunday and saw many on light poles watching the traffic :)

      Thank you! xo

  9. Don't you just love the balance of nature. :)

  10. Hooray for those hawks...I have rabbits in abundance here, if they want to vary their diet a bit...and their landscape....

    My army is more like a navy--Western grebes, courtship displays and now chick-rearing on the wildlife refuge. I stay in my vehicle and watch the show through binoculars, and it's simply spectacular!!!! Yes, those chicks really do ride around on their parents' backs, and both parents share the love. AND grebes are fastidious groomers--that's comical to watch, especially when they have babies balanced on their behinds.

    Your yard sounds noisy in a good way--bustling, the most popular house on the block!

    And, oh, those feathers you create!!!!

    1. Call the navy, army and the marines, send them to Downs farms pronto, hold the chicken hawks.....

      I love your grebe stories and that you have lunch with them nearly every day......now that's what I'm talkin' about.

      It's hard to explain why we like birds so much, we just DO! (and feathers)

  11. Oh Junior Mints....I will bring those!

    Love hearing about the Red Tails, and other people's birds ♥ (and armed services! Army vs. Navy.....ha!).

    At our feeders we have these regulars: chickadees, goldfinches, blue jays, nuthatches, titmice, mourning doves, hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, bluebirds, chipping sparrows, ruby-throated hummingbirds, and purple finches....AND those pesky squirrels!

    And yes, oh those feathers (to echo Caroline!) -- I've got some CrAzY love for those beauties, Ro !!!


  12. P.S. We have catbirds, too :).

    1. Okay, I'm making popcorn and headed over to your neck of the woods, I'll save the old maids for the birds.

      There is a distention between tree squirrels and ground squirrels, though tree squirrels can be pushy, boisterous and pesky, ground squirrels are a scourge and luckily #1 on the menu at the Red Tail Diner.

      Thank you Ms Bird for the feather love!!


  13. We had a hawk standing in the driveway recently. He was so riveted by something under the holly that he wouldn't get out of the way of the car. I pulled right up to him, then got out and came around and said, "Hey!" He gave me a sullen look and hopped over to the lawn, but he was reluctant to give way. Tad too tame, our hawks.

    And our squirrels aren't interested in eating our garden's bounty -- they just want to eat plastic. They've eaten away the rims of all my plastic planters on the deck, and have eaten away the tops of all our downspouts. I don't get it! But I'm afraid if I get terra cotta planters, my plants are toast. :-)

  14. Oh wow Sharon, I bet it was a baby, they can be somewhat unaware of the fact they should be more fearful of people. I read that Red Tails live to be an average age of 21 so it has time to learn.

    Oh yes those are tree squirrels and like rats I think they need to keep their teeth ground down. Hang some antlers out there and they'll leave your stuff alone, they love to grind away on those but the downspouts! really, metal, WOW cyborg squirrels :(