Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Great Battle Of Carpenter Forest
I'll start from the very beginning, since that's where all good stories start. I was in the very center of the forest trying out my new camera equipment when I sensed a presence that didn't seem to belong. I looked to my left and I saw something about ten feet off the ground on a branch about thirty feet away. It was very dark in the forest so I had to strain to see just exactly what it was.
As I narrowed my eyes, I realized that the thing I was seeing was a hawk perched up on that branch. I couldn't believe my luck! I never expected to see this kind of bird in the middle of a forest! It was very quietly scanning the area, and when it turned and saw me it flew a short distance away.
Just as the squirrel was halfway to his destination, the hawk made his move! The hawk quickly and smoothly swooped down towards the poor little squirrel and reached out with his talons to grab him and haul him off. As the hawk was doing this, I saw the squirrel crouch down to try to avoid the attack! It all happened so fast, but as the hawk rose back into the air it didn't have the squirrel.
The hawk landed on another nearby low branch to wait for another chance at his prey. Then I saw another squirrel appear on the floor of the forest. Then another and another, and another still! What was going on? Did they think the hawk was gone? The hawk made another attempt at the nearest squirrel, and came up empty again! As before, it went back to another nearby branch. That's when all hell broke loose!
Some ran across tree branches and others took to the ground, but they were as one in their hunt of this hawk. The hawk saw them coming and it made another attack on the nearest squirrel. The squirrel ducked, the hawk missed, and the others were on the hawk again!
It tried to fly away but the squirrels had it trapped! The whole thing erupted into chaos! The hawk lifted off only a few feet off the branch but there were squirrels above and below. They were coming from all directions. The hawk made small jumps, in an attempt to dive bomb any squirrel that tried to stop its retreat!
I don't know if the battle was ended then, or if it just moved on into the forest. As it was all happening, I tried to get a few pictures of the action, but I just wasn't quick enough. I got a few shots of the hawk whenever it stopped, but since I am still learning some new camera settings, they are not the best they could be. I'm just glad I can tell this story of the great battle of the forest.
(If anyone can tell by the pictures what kind of hawk this is, I would really appreciate the information. I'm thinking it's possibly a Cooper's Hawk.)
(I also have one more post today, just below this one. Take a look at it. It's very short, and there's a surprise waiting for you there.)