Monday, December 19, 2011

Wild Wildlife: Brunch for Everyone

I didn’t get to the zoo this weekend—which was unfortunate for my photo files but fortunate for our laundry—but as I was walking to meet Annie and a friend on Sunday morning I had an encounter of sorts with some wildlife right in the wilds of DC.

I was walking up the sidewalk when I noticed a whole scattering of feathers littering the sidewalk. Not feathers from a mattress or pillow, or down from a coat—these were feathers plucked straight from a creature, probably a pigeon, that had until recently been flying around.

“Somebody just got eaten,” I noted to myself. Then I happened to glance up, and I saw in the tree above me a hawk, ripping away at the body of the unfortunate bird.

I didn’t have my ultra-zoom camera with me, but I was lucky enough to have my other camera on-hand, and so I took a few less-than-telescopic photos. (I’m not sure if this is a Cooper’s or a sharp-shinned hawk, but I’m pretty sure it’s one or the other.)

The hawk seemed a little unnerved by my paparazzi-esque behavior and refused to continue its meal until I put the camera away and continued on my way towards my own meal. If I were being moralistic and pro-prey, I might say that my scrutiny inspired in the hawk a degree of guilt about its own behavior and the ways in which it needed to survive—but I don’t think one can make moral judgments about the ways other animals eat, and even if I did, I don’t think the hawk’s conscience stirred because of my observation.

Nor did mine, obviously, because I had chicken for lunch.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Your photos dovetail nicely with your Mom's poems here. Although in her case, a squirrel. I liked that I could use the word dovetail too.

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