There is something so fascinating about raptors and birds of prey - maybe it is the piercing eyes or the knowledge that they are skilled hunters, or just the sheer beauty of them. It did make today's choice of a photo pretty easy, though.
This is a male (I think) sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus), a year-found resident in this area. He looks nearly identical to the Cooper's Hawk, except for some slight differences in the head and tail, and the longer, more slender legs. The male of the species, like most hawks, is smaller than the female - and this one was not much bigger than one of our blue jays,which is what led me to the conclusion that he's a he. This is an adult bird, identified by the reddish eyes (juvenile/first year birds have yellow eyes.)
Very interestingly, he was perched on the cherry tree directly over the feeder...while a couple of chickadees and a titmouse flitted directly below him, eating seeds! I can only assume that he'd eaten and wasn't hungry, because normally he would have helped himself to a bird. He sat up there for several minutes, allowing me to slither into the other room, grab the camera, and slither back to shoot some pics through the window. Would have loved to have been outside without the obstruction of the window, but you take what you can get sometimes.
You all surprised me with the overwhelming response to yesterday's snow geese. I wasn't expecting so many of you to like that shot - but it seems that it conveyed at least some of the sense of awe that I was feeling when I took it. So, thank you.
Our bathroom pipes remain free of ice - yay! And with a tiny bit of luck, we'll have the new high-efficiency fireplace complete enough to use by Wednesday night! The building and fire inspector are coming over to look at it tomorrow and if it passes inspection, the contractor will be here Weds to "close it up". Woohoo! Meanwhile, tomorrow's low temp is expected to be under 5 degrees Fahrenheit...brrrrr.
Happy Monday, people.
Oh, and if you'd like to see another shot of the hawk, as well as some show-off blue jays and some dancing turkeys, have a look at the first six pics, starting HERE