*For the squeamish, you might want to skip this post if predation in nature offends.*
I was watching the birds eating in the snow, when suddenly
it became very quiet at the feeders. I did not think much about
it until a bit later, I saw movement in the garden area.
I grabbed my binocs and saw this gorgeous (but very wet and cold)
Red-shouldered Hawk*, who had apparently captured a Mourning Dove.
(*Yes, yesterday I incorrectly identified this guy as a Cooper's, but corrected
my ID error when it was brought to my attention by my sissy!)
I watched in rapt amazement as he carefully plucked all the feathers
away, with his huge talons holding and keeping his catch steady.
His legs would stretch out as he pulled, and you could see the
strength in those legs, as they were his anchor.
It's not the first time I've seen a hawk get some prey, but they will
typically fly away with it, and this guy stayed in that spot for probably 25
minutes or more until there was only a morsel remaining. He then grabbed
it with those strong talons and flew away into the trees to enjoy later.