Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Today when I gazed out he window watching the snow fall, I noticed a large bird sitting atop the bird feeder. We feed the birds, but the feeding station is not close to the house. I found the binoculars to get a closer look. The bird in question was a mature male Northern Harrier, formerly called Marsh Hawk. He was slender and sleek like a jet plane. His back was gray , his white chest was flecked with reddish brown, and I could see his bright yellow feet. I wanted to exchange the binoculars for the camera, but as soon as I moved he flew out of sight. His sharp eyes caught the movement even through the window. I snapped a picture anyway. At least it shows where he was. The books say these birds eat rodents and snakes which makes them very appealing to have around. Perhaps he was sitting there to watch for rodents, but the blue jay feathers scattered here and there might indicate that he sometimes takes advantage of the bird feeders clientele. The evidence is circumstantial of course. I'm sure Ed would love it if he carried off the red squirrel that frequents the feeder. I don't know if that's possible. A red squirrel gives a whole new meaning to the term "fast food."