Saturday, September 27, 2008

Urban Wildlife

Yesterday as I was leaving for work I witnessed an extraordinary event. As I slammed shut the front door, I heard the flapping of tremendous wings. When I looked up, I saw a large bird flying away with something white in its talons. It was a hawk, and when I looked toward the green across the street and saw the hundreds of white feathers strewn across the lawn, I knew that the hawk had killed one of the neighborhood pigeons.

The hawk landed on a fence at the end of the block, and dropped the white bird. I walked across the street to the scene of the killing and saw in the middle of that patch of white feathers six feet in diameter, newly spilled, red, red blood.

The hawk stayed on the fence for a long time. It was still there even after I went back inside to report the carnage to Calderoj. I drove by it, stopped, backed up, and attempted to take a picture of it with my phone. But it just stayed there, guarding its prize.

Calderoj reports that a dead, headless pigeon was on the ground next to the fence when he walked by on the way to the bus. Apparently, there was no hawk in sight.

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