One Less Vole

I was treated to quite a sight today.

The girls and I were inside, shortly after noon. They were snoozing, I was working. I walked into the main kitching/dining area, and stood in front of the sliding glass door to take in the view. Just then, a huge bird swooped down across my line of sight, wings spread wide and fluttering as it made for a section of yard to the side of the door and just outside my view.

Too big for a magpie, even for a crow. What the heck?

Just as I stepped closer to the glass door for a better look, a red tailed hawk flapped its big wings, gaining altitude and crossing right in front of me again.

This time, though, he had a vole in this claws.

He paused, ever so briefly, about 10 feet off the ground and right in front of me, to make sure the vole was secure in his grasp. Then he flew higher and around the side of the house, to a stand of tall pines.

HIs (her?) wing span must be close to three feet across. A gorgeous creature.

I'd see several red tailed hawks in the trees near my house recently. I often see them soaring, high above the ground, singly, or in small groups. Their call is like a scream. This morning, as the girls and I returned from a run, I noted two big birds there. One was so big, I wondered if it was a golden eagle.

We have lots of red tailed hawks here. Common sight, actually. They're gorgeous. NIce to know they're keeping the vole population in check. Even in my yard, right next to the house.

How on earth did this bird see them move there? The trees are on the other side of the house and at least 200 feet away. He must have been circling overhead, as they do.

The girls will be disappointed to know there's one less vole in the yard for them to try to capture.

These photos come from the Wikipidea site.