When you put out a bird feeder, you have the potential of attracting a wide variety of interesting animals close to your home.
At our feeder, we get a decent variety of critters: Rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, birds and some of those animals never seem to leave, like the Mourning Dove above, they arrive, eat, and bask in the sun, which normally is no problem, but recently, and unfortunately for them, there has been a different result to they’re loitering, as shown in the photo below.
A raptor of some sort has been wreaking havoc on the Mourning Doves and the local rabbit population. I’ve seen glimpses of it rapidly flying off and away, however, this particular bird of prey is one of the fastest and most stealthy I’ve ever seen at the feeder.
And as I sat yesterday on my couch and looked out the window, I noticed something perched high in a tree about 250 yards from my home and with a direct line of sight to the bird feeder, a dark dot at that distance to the human eye but in a lens zoomed in at 300-mm, it appeared as the photo above and a months long puzzle was about to be solved.
Cropping the photo, this Red Tailed Hawk has excellent eyesight, good enough to see the feeder and what’s lying beneath it perfectly as he plans his attack.
Known to approach in a dive at speeds of up to 120 mph, these birds are a lethal weapon to anything edible on its menu.
Mystery solved. Now we just have to name it.
How about, Mad Max, or just plain, Mel? Ha.