I have observed the cycle of life in many permutations, having lived in Africa for ten years I know first hand that nature is a harsh mistress where you have to fight hard just to survive and I have certainly seen endless creatures killed and eaten by other creatures. But that doesn't stop some kills being harder to come to terms with than others.
I was happy to watch this young Coopers Hawk feasting on a hard earned meal whilst perching low in a tree at the front of the house. Like many predators raptors tread a fine line between success and starvation.
Many young predators never hone their hunting skills quickly enough after leaving the care of their parents and perish during their first year of independence.
But this young hawk had killed successfully and was tucking into his meal with great relish so I was careful to make sure that I didn't disturb him by getting too close and scare him into dropping his food.
Thank goodness for the joys of modern technology and cameras with massive zoom capacity :)
So it wasn't until I was putting the images onto my computer that I actually got the chance to look at what he was eating. I had assumed that it was one of the numerous doves or quail that breed so profusely that they seem to be a food source for everyone and still maintain a massive population but no. Look at those feet and that hooked beak. This was another bird of preys chick! I have a bad feeling that this bad old Coopers Hawk might have raided my beautiful resident Kestrels nest and that makes me so sad. I know, I know, I shouldn't discriminate between Doves, Quails and Kestrels but somehow it just took the edge off my enjoyment of watching nature take it's course.
Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods.