Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter Wonders

I awoke Sunday and stumbled into the bathroom to take care of nature's calling when I spied activity in my neighbor's driveway. At first I thought it was one of my neighbor's many cats. It seemed too big. I ran to get my glasses, but even then the blur of my morning eyes played tricks on me. I called my wife in from the other room and she confirmed what I thought I was seeing. It was a Great Horned Owl (in broad daylight) eating a dead rabbit.

Yesterday we saw Ginny, the neighbor, with a shovel scraping a dead critter off the driveway. Being the naturalist she is she simply tossed the dead rabbit aside so it wasn't in the middle of the driveway and let nature take its course. My wife said that she had seen the neighborhood crows fighting over it earlier this morning and they had dragged it back out on the driveway. Somewhere along the line the owl drove the crows off the quarry and claimed it for itself. The crows, none too happy, sat up in the trees letting the owl know of their displeasure.

Eventually something startled the owl. It flew into a nearby tree with an escort of angry crows hot on its tail. This went on for a awhile until the owl had enough and he flew off dodging and weaving as the crows dove in and out hassling him all the way.

All in all it was quite a start to my morning.

Over the years we have been avid bird watchers and have enjoyed the antics of the chickadees, cardinals, sparrows and juncos. We always have a bird feeder out and so do most of the neighbors. Once in a while something like this happens that makes us glad we always have our eyes glancing out the windows... I would have hated to miss this!