Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thoughts on hawks and things

I was curious about those hawks I saw out on my land in Kansas and managed to identify them...not so much from this photo I took this past summer but from the sound they made when they launched into the air. Kee-eeeee-arr! I guess red-tail hawks make a very distinctive sound that is so "hawk-like," Hollywood uses their sound for all hawks and eagles in movies.

That white tail on that red-tail hawk still bothered me though...

...until I saw this at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site.

Yep, those are my hawks. And from that site, I was able to identify the owl that hoo hoo hoos without me even having to see it. It's the Great Horned Owl, also one of the most common birds of its type. Doesn't matter. At least I know their names.

Sarah told me that when I move out to my land in Kansas to be aware that every small animal out there will be scrutinized by a larger predator of some sort. Since my house will be built in the area of the nests I've seen ( if they are the actual hawk nests), I assume I'm going to be scrutinized by the hawks by air, raccoons by tree, snakes and foxes by ground, snappers by water and...underground? No idea but I know there's probably something in the process of thawing out right now.

A couple summers ago there was a red-tail hawk circling the area above my current house and Violet immediately flattened to the ground and got herself under the car. I'm glad she has such good instinct and is so smart. Such is not the case with Eddie. Eddie might be in her twenties in years but it might as well be minutes when it comes to how her brain operates. Every day is a fresh new day for Eddie but I love her for it just the same. One day Eddie was outside in her cage and saw something passing through the neighborhood that completely stopped everything for her. What was the thing flying over our yard?

A Goodyear blimp.

Oh poor Eddie. The expression on her face was priceless. But in her defense, the concept of a flying blimp is pretty weird.

Anyway, in this house designing phase of my land ownership thing, I need to figure out some good protective things to do to keep my current birds and cat safe...and the future pets too (for some reason I don't worry so much about the turts). It would be heartbreaking to have anything happen to my current pets or the chickens that will eventually be living with me some day. Yes, I will be needing chickens. They're funny to watch and fun to hold. And then of course there are the eggs. These pretty eggs were laid by the good little hens at Redbud Ranch.

Years ago I saw some transferware plates at an antique show and always regretted not buying them. Michael remembered my description when he recently found this little dish of the sour-faced little girl surrounded by all her pets. She was my Christmas present this year and I love, love, love her. I didn't buy the plates when I originally saw them because the little girl I saw on those plates had a mean little face...and I don't think her pets looked that good either. The transfer on this plate is softer than the one I originally saw and I much prefer it. She's still an odd looking thing though.

Maybe my house design plan should aim for what is going on on this little dish... just keep that front door open and stay right near it so everyone can bolt inside if anything scary shows up.

Of course that Aussie Mueller has an open invitation to come indoors with us too if things get too active under that potentially active country sky. I'm planning for that too. :-)


Leenie said...

What an exciting adventure to relocate and redo. From the photos you've shared that new place looks wild and full of life.

I wouldn't fret too much about the hawks. They probably prefer rodents and snakes. There were always hawks around where I grew up and they didn't go after creatures on the farm. We lost more to automobiles and harvest equipment. Yes, people are always the biggest danger.

Maria said...

Well....what I know so far is that the land is full of Aussie, insects, ticks and now...two hawks. :-) Glad to hear the hawks will focus more on rodents and snakes but I still have to fret about the foxes and raccoons when it comes to stubborn chickens who do not want to go in their coop for the night.

Yeah, that land is still pretty darn exciting. :-D

Mental P Mama said...

We have many red tails here on our property, too. I give them all the space they want! I cannot wait to see the new place take shape...what a wonderful adventure!

Maureen said...

I spent a few years after college in the Ozarks and my pure breed Persian house cat spent much of her time in the tops of trees with her fur full of burrs and was ultimately shot for eating my neighbors chickens.

Country Girl said...

Yes, it surely sounds as if you need to keep your pets safe from the hawks. We have them here too. The other day, my husband saw an eagle.

Rural Rambler said...

Maria we have red tails and eagles and I never worried about our kitty. I always stayed on alert but as far as them scooping her up it wasn't a huge worry. We also have four leg predators, we have a bob cat that makes an appearance now and then. Chickens and your birds and other critters you are thinking about I would have a healthy worry with that for sure. And oh my gosh the visiting animals that will want to move in with, you are going to not believe it. And then there are all those less than wonderful people that dump kitties and pups off cause they just know that you will take care of them! But you will love it Maria, I know. I have made none, nada, zip, no progress on PS cause we are on VACATION :)

Deedee said...

I love the hawks, owls and vultures I see and hear in our New England area. We do keep our cats inside for their own protection... we have fishers and coyotes that would make short work of them if we let them out.