The seminary campus always has a pair of hawks who sit way up high on the radio tower or camouflaged in trees. They will sit quietly until they see some prey and then swoop down on it. At the moment there are young hawks in a nest somewhere, we are fairly certain the nest in up in a tall pine behind the Sieck classroom building. But the parent hawks range around the entire campus looking for the best meals to feed the young. And squirrels and normal birds and rabbits are high on their list. We have very few rabbits around right now which tells us they've been eaten. The blue jays and other birds are aware of what's going on and they spend a good part of the day absolutely screaming in rage when a hawk is near. The squirrels, on the other hand, are always plentiful and are fairly easy for a hawk to catch. Which means the squirrel numbers are diminishing.
Nature isn't always pretty.
Yesterday Dale and I were standing on our driveway when all of a sudden a huge hawk flew out from under the small overhang above our back kitchen door. He swooped over our heads and ended up in the tree across the street where he sat and scared a smaller bird who refused to leave that tree and screamed and screamed. I have to give that small bird credit for courage, he was most likely protecting his own family.
As it happened I had my camera with me because we'd just come back from an event at the library. And, this morning as I went out to take a picture of the back door overhang, that same hawk shot out from under there just as I walked outside. I think I'll be using the front door for a while.
And even more disconcerting, as I walked to take a picture I almost stumbled over the carcass of a squirrel who'd been eaten and picked almost clean except for the fur and bones. That hawk is busy. This is gross, but here it is.