Paul Moorehead pjm at
Wed Jun 13 15:41:18 PDT 2001

Went out back to see how the nestling red-tailed hawks were coming
along. Both youngsters were softly begging. Expect them to fledge any
day now. Parents unseen. Meanwhile, here comes a threesome of pileated
woodpeckers yakking while flying across the young forest to the older
stand that wasn't blown over in the 1990 winter windstorm. An adult bald
eagle appears, flying towards its nest with an adult red-tailed on its
butt. Of course the eagle has just passed by the red-tail's nest and the
hawk has to usher it past. Suddenly the hawk reverses course, tucks
wings and drops. A pained cry comes from one of the pileated. The others
set up a continuous chorus. Gotta check this out. As I approach the
woodpeckers the hawk rises up from the forest floor and circles close
by, the woodpeckers in pursuit. Nothing in the talons of the hawk. I
search the floor. Nettles, swordfern, salmonberry. Thick. About to
figure that the prey might have been wounded and escaped and is hiding
out and that I will not find it when I see a dark form draped loosely
over a fallen cedar limb. A juvenile woodpecker dead and in process of
evisceration. After a quick inspection I place the body in the top of a
short snag thinking that the hawk will see and retrieve the prey. I
return to where I can observe the hawk's nest and one of the nestlings
has a snake in its beak. I wonder how ivory-billed tasted.

Paul Moorehead
Guemes, WA

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