I’ve often mentioned visits from hawks since they frequently fly over Two Terrier Vineyards to snatch a few moles and gophers. We’re always glad to see them as the terriers are energetic, but not very effective in their efforts to keep the rodent population down. In fact, a few years ago, a breeding pair took up residence here — or at least they conducted most of their “dates” here. We named them Hudson and Kitty Hawk. Now it looks like Hudson’s back. And he’s staking a claim.
For the past two weeks, he’s been starting his morning by landing on the barn roof and letting out a loud shriek. Once he’s scared most of the little birds away and thoroughly upset the terriers, he flies between our telephone pole and our tallest oak patrolling the pasture for varmints. When the terriers get up and start digging up gopher holes, all Hawk Hell breaks loose. While Hudson used to fly away when the terriers were around, now he sits on his perch and screams at them. I’ve been worried that he might swoop down and give Oscar a fair fight. Using an internationally recognized unit of measure, I’d say Hudson is terrier sized. But my Birds of North America tells me, in spite of a four and half foot wingspan, a Red Tailed Hawk only grows up to 3-1/4 pounds. Must be the way he’s ruffling up his feathers that makes him look bigger.
We’d just about convinced ourselves that Oscar was in no danger of an unfortunate raptor encounter. Until the other day. John the Baptist saw two Golden Eagles circling over the barn.
I wonder if Oscar and Hudson have considered joining forces?
Ever see the “Far Side” cartoon “trouble brewing?” The Tea Cup Poodle fanciers are having a dog show on one side of a park and over the hedge from their show is a gathering of Falconers? Glad your smooths are up to size.
The international unit, “fox terrier size” was first used by Gould to describe Eohippos … (the new dawn horse) in his book, the Flamingo’s Smile … I’d say it’s about the size of a bread box but who uses bread boxes anymore?
If the eagles decide to nest, you’ll have a lot to worry about. I was on a school bus riding through Denali National Park in 2006 when a pair of goldens decided to strafe us. It was like a scene out of Jurassic Park III. The birds hit the top of the bus repeatedly with their talons until we drove far enough up the road away from their territory. Maybe you can find a little Kevlar jacket in Oscar’s size?
He’s probably trying to find Kitty.
Glad to see that all is well at the farm, assuming no one has been snatched…