Wednesday, October 30, 2013
|All photos by Jonathan Schechter 10/21/13 Brandon Township, Michigan|
I was just a few hundred yards from my house driving home on my rural hard-packed dirt road when a sudden movement caught my eye; a large bird flew out of the ditch and landed in a tree perhaps 20 feet from where his take off point was located. I slowed as I approached and quickly noticed it was red-tailed hawk, a young one I think. As I reached for my camera in the car's back seat and squinted into the sunlight I could see he seemed to be swallowing
and something - a little piece of meat - dangled from his mouth.
watched through the car window for another few minutes until the watchful hawk grew
uneasy at my roadside loitering and flew to the limb of another further away tree.
I then drove slowly to the spot from which he had first appeared.
The facts on the ground told the rest of the story.
A bloodied eastern cottontail rabbit was sprawled on his back in a most unglamorous pose and was most obviously the tasty late afternoon entree at this hawk's roadside cafe. The rabbit did not appear to be pancake-flat as is the usual case when crushed by a car. My best guess is the rabbit was captured at the edge of my neighbor's closely cropped lawn and dropped by the hawk when trying to fly with his heavy prey.
I left so the hawk could finish his fine dining at this Oakland County (Michigan)
all you can eat roadside cafe where all the food is fresh --- and served very rare.