Sunday Snapshot – Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk with prey

My parents were up today for a visit; we were going to “Seedy Sunday”, a seed exchange/sale held by the Perth Farmer’s Market. I didn’t check where it was being held yesterday, and naturally this morning our internet went down. As we were wandering around downtown Perth trying to figure out where the event was taking place, a low-flying Sharp-shinned Hawk swooped by, carrying something. It banked and landed in a tree across the street, so I stealthily made my way over, pulling the little point-and-shoot camera from my purse that I now carry for just such emergencies (it was a spare my dad had and offered to me – very grateful, thank you, Dad!).

Couldn’t quite tell what the prey item was, besides simply a bird, and was unable to blow it up once it was on the computer as I hadn’t realized the photo size was set to a lower resolution. My first guess was Blue Jay, since it looks a little too slim to be a pigeon, and the tail’s not the right shape for a Mourning Dove, and I can’t think of anything else that large that’s pale like that around at this time of year. The dark band across the end of the tail puzzles me, though. Maybe it is a pigeon, after all. Birds always look smaller in death.

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2 responses to “Sunday Snapshot – Sharp-shinned Hawk

  1. Can’t help on the prey ID. I first thought blue jay, and I still think that’s a likely candidate, though more details could turn it into anything from a space alien to a mourning dove.

    “Birds always look smaller in death.” That gave me pause. Quite true. Then I realized: I think that’s the case for everything, human perspective being what it is. Great thought-provoking observation.

    • Suppose we’ll never know, Jason…

      There’s something about the spark of life that gives a creature presence, even when they’re still or sleeping. I’ve held birds in my hand that were very much alive as I put a band around their leg, and I’ve held birds in my hand that were dead after striking a window or something, and the latter birds always feel so tiny, the vulnerability of life so apparent.

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