Friday, February 17, 2012

Cat's Tail in the Door

The weather has been mild enough that even with my small handicap I have been able to sit outside more often and watch the brown winter struggle to remain the owner of the season.  





Yesterday the sky was filled with the sound of a cat dying.  Not a pleasant sound unless you are a raptor fan such as I.  A male Red Shouldered Hawk was singing to his mate while dancing high in the blue sky.  He soared up becoming a distant silhouette with a call that is similar to what a cat might make if you slammed its' tail in your front door.  He then spiraled elegantly for a while as the sound echoed again and again in the winter air.  In an instant he then collapsed his wings tightly into two sharp arrows and made a nose dive toward the area of the female.  The fall is so fast and frightening he certainly must be breaking the sound barrier as well as risking his life.  It would be very heart-stopping if you were with him in this command performance.
At the last minute he pulls up and starts the dance all over again.  He must have captured her heart because we saw the pair doing the love dance on the high branch of a locust tree a short time later.  That dance lasted such a short time considering the aerial performance that had seduced her in the beginning.  Oh well, looks like there will be baby red-shoulders in the woods this spring.





12 comments:

Shrinky said...

So, um, just how many cat's have you slammed in the door? Ha, seems those birds and we humans have much in common where it comes to lengthy courtships and the ultimate consumation of them (inserting evil snicker)! As ever, your photographs and observations are both sharp and delightful.

Shrinky said...

Oops, meant to ask cat's TAIL'S..?

Brian Miller said...

wow...bet that was something to watch...the sound might drive me crazy but...interesting on the dance...

SueAnn said...

It is a fantastic sight to behold.
Hugs
SueAnn

Linda said...

I have to agree with your observations on our 'brown, struggling to be.... winter'.

After you have watched a raptor do what they do, it is difficult not to become a fan. The economy of movement and the speed at which they travel is truly magnificent. Oh, you do get the Academy Award for best movie here. Thank you for sharing this rapturous love, Tabor.

Celia said...

Winter clings, but there is some sun peeking through today and I've noticed a resurgence of small birds flitting around. Including a robin who seems to be up to something in the fir tree by the house.

chris said...

so impressed and envious that you had this view of your hawks. it must have been spectacular!

Bob Bushell said...

Nice pictures.
I can't stand the word verification, it is hard enough, but its getting worse. Please don't use it.

Barb said...

Such a drama in your skies. Lucky you to be there to see it! I really like your Header, too.

Robert Sobczak said...

That sounds interesting to have seen. We saw a bald eagle at the beach today, but nothing as exciting.

Dave said...

That's quite a sound they make Tabor.With a dive like that no wonder the female was impressed - Dave

Comfypjs said...

I thought you might enjoy this site of a webcamera set up near a bald eagle nest. The female laid her first egg last Friday. The camera is available well after the eaglets take flight. http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles#utm_campaigne