The hawk and the field mouse

I was nearing the end of an afternoon trail walk in Chagrin River Park. More than happy with the images I had collected on my memory card, I was ready to head for home when a large hawk, perched on a fence post just off the trail, caught my attention.

It must be a decoy, I thought to myself. I had heard other people talking about the hawk they had seen along the trail, but I hadn’t been lucky enough to spot him, so I didn’t believe my eyes until his head moved, and I realized it really was a hawk, a very large one! Lifting my camera, I began shooting frame after frame, while any minute expecting him to fly away.

Instead, he spread his wings, rose a few feet into the air and plummeted into the gully next to the post where he had been perched.

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After a short skirmish, with a small field mouse gripped tightly in his talons, he returned to his perch to enjoy his lunch.

If your sympathy lies with the little mouse, you will probably agree that nature isn’t always pretty because the field mouse didn’t have any hope of surviving his encounter with the redtailed hawk. The hawk, on the other hand, was happy to capture a meal and survive for another day of hunting.

That’s it for today. Although I actually have more pictures of this encounter, I decided not to post the most graphic parts of the sequence.

I’ll be back soon with another post, one that I promise will be more cheerful! I hope you will join me then.

Trail Walker

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