Date: 5/2/19 7:41 am From: Cortez Austin <corteznaturephotography...> Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Red tail gray squirrel faceoff
Very interesting. Maybe the squirrel knew that the hawk’s reflexes were too slow to catch him (?) if not by surprise and he had to check if it was someone he knew.
I noticed an immature red tail standing on a squirrel in my yard a few weeks ago. I rushed upstairs to photograph this predation from the bathroom window. I did and kept an eye on things as I went about my household duties. A short while later I noticed the hawk with raised, outstretched wings facing off with a neighborhood tom cat which was slowly approaching the hawk. Back to the bathroom window. When I got there the cat and the hawk were almost face to face. With two more steps the hawk jumped at the cat talons first and the cat got out of town.
Another squirrel in the yard was terrified and had climbed the bird feeder pole to hide under the baffle where it stayed giving distress calls for about two hours. The hawk fed for a while and then flew away. The other squirrel finally got to safety at some point when I was not looking. The hawk came back to feed some more later and the following day.
Sadly, this episode is a record of the demise of the largest squirrel in the yard whom I called “Big Daddy”.
Cortez Austin, Upper Marlboro, MD.
> On May 1, 2019, at 5:46 PM, Bryan MacKay <mackay...> wrote:
> A few minutes ago I noticed a red tail eating a rat on a downed tree in my neighbor's backyard. After a few minutes, one of our many gray squirrels walked out the branch to within a foot of the hawk, stayed for a few seconds, then turned around and left. The hawk observed but did nothing. I was really surprised that a gray squirrel would chance such an encounter. Was the squirrel making sure the prey item was not a squirrel? Opinions?
> Sorry about this listing as "me". I can't figure out how to change it.
> Bryan MacKay
> Catonsville, MD
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