Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thanks for Breakfast

I was on my way out the door this morning. My hands were full with my work stuff and two cups of hot, fresh-brewed Caffe Pronto coffee (Mocha Java this week). As I approached my Volvo, I heard the local COOPERS HAWK going nuts. To make matters slightly more interesting, I was in a rush to get to a meeting in Charles County too.Initially I thought perhaps some loving courtship behaviors were taking place. After all, it is THAT time of year and it did kind of 'sound' like love.I put my coffees down and looked to where the shrieking was taking place in the treetops across the street. Turns out, the local COOPERS HAWK had just captured a fresh COMMON GRACKLE. But seconds after the GRACKLE was captured for breakfast, a greedy, slightly opportunistic RED TAILED HAWK swooped in to 'take' the feast for his (or her) own. At first glance, I thought the two raptors were involved in a loving embrace. Hmm, apparently not.I grabbed my camera from the house and quickly snapped these shots. The morning light was terrible, so I apologize for the bad photography. I ask you to please use your imagination when it comes to 'vibrant color and lighting' that one would expect from well-done photography.Sure enough, these two raptors embraced all right... but it wasn't so much about procreation as it was about a struggle over a well-deserved meal. The RED-TAILED HAWK won out and soon flew off with the GRACKLE. But for a good two or three minutes, the COOPERS HAWK sat on a nearby limb, looking puffed up and very frustrated watching his hard-earned meal get de-feathered by a local competitor.If nothing else, it made for a very interesting start to my day.

I hope your breakfast was uneventful. Oh, and not only was the Mocha Java delicious, I successfully made it to my meeting.

-Dan

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