The Art of the Hunt

Jan 21

The past few days has yielded no sightings of our Red-tail friends.  Morning, noon, late afternoon, nada, zilch, zip! The nest also has not seen any new materials being delivered.

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Jan 21

So today, I decided to drop by the nest site a good 30 minutes earlier.  After rounding the usual perching sites, I gave up.  All I saw was a Great Blue flying thru.

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Where are the Red-tails?  Much like this time last year, they did some nest work, then for several days, nothing.  Same situation this year.  But, glancing further south, a sign that they’re still here.

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There were 2 flying around the Wells Fargo but they didn’t come to the nest but instead flew south. Oh, well.  It looked like it was going to be one of those no-see days or was it?

Later, I spotted a Red-tail on Goldie Hen.  It was Mama.  She looked west, east and south.  She was on the hunt.

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Then after picking and locking on to her target, Mama literally leaped off Goldie with wings tucked in.  This wing-in position is their hunting posture and enables them to take off at a very fast speed.

12:43:32

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Mama took off like a missle and started to open her wings to slow her speed down, but it was still VERY FAST!

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12:43:34 (2 seconds later)

She became obscured by a tree…

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I wasn’t sure were she was headed but the next thing I saw was Mama striking something on a tree then quickly turning around.  No time for the camera to swing into action.  This all happened in about 10 seconds after she took a dive.

12:43:45

A squirrel fell from the tree and hit the ground.  Mama immediately landed and claimed her catch.

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Mama stayed with her catch for about a minute before flying off to the safety of a treeJan20_21 (16 of 22) Jan20_21 (19 of 22)

Still clutching her catch, she stood on the tree for about 4 minutes.  A few Raleigh folks saw her and started to take pictures.  Mama took a poop then flew off to eat her lunch away from the hawkaratzzi :).

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Wow!  This was some action.

Ciao

JP

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