Sunday, April 5, 2009

Late April Fools?

We've been enjoying some nice days off and on at Prairie Hill Farm...nice weather wise. We've played hit and miss the past couple weeks with snow storms and got to dodge them until last night.

We get April snow storms often enough, but it's always harder when the weather lulls us into a zone of contentment...then springs the white stuff back on us; kind of like a late April Fools joke of sorts. Kind of mean spirited I think!

We didn't get any where near what was forecast but the wind is really making things tough on the birds and other critters here with what snow we did get.

This morning at breakfast Georgie and I were treated to some drama in the yard. An adult Cooper's Hawk came barreling into the yard scattering all the Robins, Juncos, and other birds. Some Juncos were so disoriented in the chase that they flew into the windows trying to get away.

The bird flew to a patch of prairie grass we hadn't burned yet and walked in and among the grasses and forbs trying to route out anyone that might be hiding within. It was fun watching the hawk stalking it's prey on foot. This is a characteristic of this order of hawks
(accipiter) that we've watched many times over the years...kind of reminiscent of the Jurassic Park Veloci Raptor scenes!

Photos taken through the kitchen windows are never the best but the quickest way to scare off a skittish raptor like this is to open a window
, so I tried a couple shots through the glass and even a short bit of video footage which I might show some other time. The thing that identifies this bird as an adult is the orangish barring on the breast, the dark gray back, and the red eyes.

Weather like this just keeps us inside a while longer; guess we'll just keep working at those indoor jobs for a few more days yet...but an occasional glance out the windows might bring more fun distractions...

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