Feeling very accomplished, Bob and I relaxed on the back porch to watch the martins and listen for the dreaded "alarm system" indicating the hawk was back. Bob saw it first circling over the pond and said, "is that the @$!? hawk coming back again"? Some martins and tree swallows did seem alarmed by the presence of this guy.
Me: "No, that's too big for a Cooper's hawk". And within 3 seconds, the large raptor folded its wings back and dove toward the pond. Pulling up at the last second with feet outstretched, it still splashed into the water and flopped around for 3-4 seconds, before finally becoming airborne again. We watched in amazement - me squealing in delight, as it displayed its catch to us, departing southward. But the fun wasn't over yet. Suddenly we noticed and identified a large eagle rapidly approaching from the east - straight-lined flying, hellbent and focused on catching the first raptor - later identified as an Osprey. The eagle looked like an F-18 as he zeroed in on the Osprey. That guy had just stolen food from the eagle's territory and it was not going to be allowed to get away with it!
Oh and me without a video or picture camera.
As the eagle closed the distance rapidly, the Osprey tried to circle to evade, but finally gave up its precious catch, dropping it in our neighbor's hayfield. The eagle broke off its attack and quickly dove to the ground to claim the large bass.
I managed to sprint indoors to grab my binoculars. When I managed to finally get the Osprey into focus, I found there were actually two of them slowly beginning to ascend again and moving away.
I searched the skies and identified a juvenile eagle coming in from the east as well...apparently still following its parents and learning the skills required for hunting.
This morning, I wasn't even entertaining the thought of the Osprey pair returning, when suddenly I spotted it beginning a slow circle of our pond again. Silly me, STILL with no movie camera. Hey, THIS time I am going to capture it on video. Unfortunately, my excitement caused me to fat-finger, thumb and push all the wrong buttons at the wrong time and this is all I captured. At least I have proof this time.
I'm going to have a hard time accomplishing everything I had planned for the day today, while I'm running in & out of the house trying to see if they are back.
Oh, and how many fish do Osprey eat everyday?
Check out the video below - not the best, but I'll keep practicing.