Off the Top of My Head #7: The Thanksgiving Bird is the Word

Off The Top of My Head

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  That usually means family, food, and time off work.  And typically when people say “the bird is great!” they’re referring to a roasted turkey they’re eagerly devouring along with various vegetables, pies, rolls, and sauces.  It’s as often as not a bald-faced lie too as, it turns out, turkey is apparently rather difficult to cook to perfection.  My dad usually has a good-turkey trick, but I’ve heard not everyone has as fool-proof a poultry plan.

This year, however, when I think of the “bird” from my 2012 Thanksgiving, I’ll think of THIS:


After our Thanksgiving food-fest, I went to a store for a major caffeine hit, and when I returned this guy was waiting at the house.  He swooped down in most magnificent fashion, then performed daring, aggressive leaps at a small bush at the terrified little birds hiding within (he didn’t get any of those).

He then flew to a nearby powerline (where he imposingly glared down at me) …

I took this pic and the above pic with my phone…which is why it’s as grainy as it is. Don’t believe the hype…phones aren’t cameras…

…and then to a pole where he regally surveyed the surrounding terrain for more accessible prey.  He stayed there long enough for me to run inside, grab my a55, and run back outside telephoto lens attached.  I was in such a rush I didn’t have time for the tripod set up.  Fortunately he lingered long enough for hi-drive speed to net me some good pictures!

Hawk HD


I was able to get over 150 photos of him perched up there before he locked eyes on something a hundred or so yards away and again dove impressively out of site to either another near miss or on top of a less-fortunate small animal than the birds hiding in the lucky shrub.

I learned a few things from this:

1.) There’s something unique about seeing a natural predator like this in the suburbs.

2.) Birds of prey are fearless and seem naturally pretentious, the whole time he looked at me it was as if he was thinking, “Look at that clumsy mammal down there staggering around me for no reason…”

3.) No matter how old you are if you see such a thing in action the only thing you say is, “Wooooow…”

I think he was a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, but can’t say for sure.

Seeing him definitely changed my definition of the Thanksgiving “bird” for a while!

To see more on strange avian holiday visitors see Story of the Month for November written by my lovely RevPub counterpart!

Next week will be a requested Illustrator tutorial, and the following week a return to Life-Lessons from Video Games!

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