Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Highway Patrol accelerates lethal roadside enforcement ---of Nature's Way

photo by Jonathan Schechter
 Consider this an open letter to squirrels, rabbits, rats, mice and voles: BE WARNED!  With winter at the door red-tailed hawks (such as this fence-sitter near I-696)  have stepped up their keen eye patrols from lookout perches; tree limbs being a favorite. Unlike in summer when these Michigan natives are more likely to be seen lazily soaring on rising thermals over meadows, they have taken advantage of a great food opportunity and have adjusted their behavior accordingly. Call it road patrol, road patrol from stationary hunting platforms.  Just like a deer hunter in a tree stand selects an observation location to silently wait for deer, a location that he or she believes will be productive, the red-tailed hawk does the same.  Except for them it is a matter of life or death and they want small mammals.

They are skilled hunters. Fresh meat is their thing. They are not after rancid road kills like the turkey vultures that already winged south sniffed out.  And why flap around in the cold on endless airborne hunts when they can find barren tree limb perches along I-75 ( a favorite haunt for hunting) and wait for motion in the snow. And if that movement is a vole, rabbit or squirrel  near the highway, they take off in flight and quickly sink their powerful talons into dinner. That is nature's way in the cold season. There are no warning tickets issued by these highway patrollers with their distinctive red tail feathers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful bird. Nice photo!

December 7, 2010 at 6:49 PM 
Blogger Sandman said...

I have a couple hawks that keep watch over my bird feeders and Squirrel feeders where I place peanut butter jars.

December 8, 2010 at 9:02 AM 
Blogger Pat said...

When I drove to Toledo everyday I used to amuse myself by counting hawks along the way. My record was 14! Nice article (again!)

December 9, 2010 at 8:31 AM 

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