I Fall in Love with a Killer — O but what a handsome guy.

I Fall in Love with a Killer — O but what a handsome guy.
We have a bird of prey in this area. I truly began to hate it. We have seen what it does to the lovely white pigeons, one of which was a fantail. We have noticed a sharp decrease in our small bird population. Part of that might be due to the growth of a local crow colony — probably taking eggs even before the birds hatch. But we have seen the Sparrow Hawk in action. In a flash it swooped down and took a pigeon, flying with it to the windowsill. We quickly opened the door and waved our arms. The Sparrow Hawk dropped the bird (which was bigger than itself) and flew off. The pigeon also flew away. What a rescue!
Yesterday I was engaged in a bit of house cleaning. A loud bang on the window made me look up, fearful that a bird had again lost its life. I hurried down the stairs and opened the back door. Surely the bird I saw there, lying still and crumpled, was big enough to be a Sparrow Hawk. I hurried to see if it was still alive.
The golden eyes seemed to be looking at me. I slid my hand under its back and neck and carefully picked it up. I checked its wings and legs. They did not appear to be broken. The bright golden eyes were still watching me. Surely that was a good sign? I stroked the soft breast feathers and admired the exquisite colouring of not only the breast but the whole of the bird. Perfect in design. Perfect in every way.
I carried the bird up the slope and placed it on the grass with its back to the sun, stroking the feathers from head to tip of the long tail. Was it too stunned to show fear? There had been no struggle, no attempt to bite or claw. My heart glowed with love for this killer bird.
A little later, we went outside to see if it was still alive. As we approached, it suddenly took off. We watched it fly away, no doubt to a place of safety.
We looked in our own bird books to check that it was indeed a Sparrow Hawk. Then I searched the Internet for a really good photograph. I found one at Frederic Desmette’s blog. Perfect! It seems our bird is a second winter male. Well, maybe it will now live to see another winter?
Has my attitude changed to birds of prey? Not entirely. And I still hate crows! Having seen what they do to lambs, I always will.

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One Response to “I Fall in Love with a Killer — O but what a handsome guy.”

  1. geoffnelder Says:

    One of the most cruel yet beautiful birds in my garden is the humble robin. They are bullies, mean, thieves, killers yet so cute.

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