Beautiful and Deadly
A coopers hawk has a nest in a near pasture, providing lovely glimpses of these beautiful creatures soaring above the valley. But of coarse there is a darker side. A few years ago our free ranging meat birds provided the hawks with many tasty meals. Last year our rooster fought them off on the few occasions that they came after the laying hens. This year we have had too many disappearances, and we continue to startle a hawk away from our milk house, compost heap, hay bales and pine trees. It seems that he or she is spending more and more time watching our little laying hen chicks as they scurry around with their moms. A couple of days ago we found him trapped in our hoop house. Since the only way in is the open door at ground level, his presence meant he had chased one of our birds inside.
On the one hand, I felt disappointed that such a gorgeous, fierce and independent creature was trapped and spending his day flapping against plastic sheeting. On the other hand…we are loosing hens.
We ended up leaving the door on the upper level open and when I went out to check yesterday afternoon, he was gone. Soon after, a hawk swooped low over me in chase of a flock of red-winged black birds. And soon after that he tumbled with another of his kind through the air and soared into a new group of black birds.
So there they are, gracing the sky over the valley with their beauty and living to kill the beautiful birds we love to watch as well as the chicks we try to raise.