Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Predator and Prey

Tuesday morning I got an hour of birding in before work, on Lake Creek Trail starting at the Braes Valley parking lot. I was hoping to find higher numbers of migrating birds stopped by the thunderstorms Monday night. It was slower than I hoped, but I did find a female Orchard Oriole, a Wilson's Warbler, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler.

By the footbridge I was surprise to find a Red-shouldered Hawk and an Eastern Fox Squirrel sitting on top of a fence, right next to each other. Squirrels are sometimes eaten by hawks, and once I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk eat a squirrel like this right across the street from my house. So seeing these 2 year-round neighborhood resident species coexisting so close together was unexpected and very interesting.


Susan Andres said...

I would not believe this story without the picture! Amazing. This photo needs to be published.

Mikael Behrens said...

Thanks! After thinking more about it, I wonder if the Red-shouldered Hawk requires the element of surprise to consider something prey. Maybe if the squirrel was down on the ground and didn't see the hawk up on the fence it would be a different story.