A hawk’s nature

Posted: December 6, 2014 in Nature
Tags: , , ,

A hawk kills because it is his nature; a man because it is his pleasure.
~Darkovan proverb

This morning I decided to walk around our neighborhood lake rather than go to “my” park.  Without the shelter of park’s trees, the wind was biting.  Most of the lake was covered with a skin of ice, leaving only a small area still open water.  I can assure you that duck or goose down is warm, as two ducks were plying their way back and forth in the water, bobbing down regularly for food, heedless of the cold.

As I came to the end of my first loop of a bit over a mile, I saw not far ahead of me a hawk sitting just off the edge of the path.  I slowed, expecting it to take off, but it remained still, head lowered.  Afraid something was wrong with it, I advanced slowly, holding my phone up to take photos, while wondering who to call if it were injured.  Finally I got too close for comfort and it flew into the air, breakfast hanging redly from its talons.  I’d interrupted the meal and the hawk wanted to relax while eating.


I looked for it when I turned to walk the opposite way to finish my walk, but couldn’t see it.  However, when I  was almost done, there it was again, right by the side of the path, finishing its meal.  I was able to get quite close and stood for a time just watching it.  Eventually, close became too close and it was off again…only to land just next to where I’d be walking to head back to the house.  It must have thought I was stalking it, but this time it flew far enough away that I couldn’t see it any longer.  What fun to be able to get so close!

After an online search, I think it’s a sharp-shinned hawk.  If you think otherwise, let me know.  No matter the type, it was beautiful in the way of hawks and other birds of prey.


  1. Sue Slaght says:

    Wonderful captures!

  2. Sandra says:

    We were once part of a triangular stand-off on our balcony. A hawk on a nearby chimney with his gaze rivetted on the dove on our balcony rail. The dove knew, and stayed absolutely ‘frozen’. If he’d moved, he would have been dead in an instant. We had to freeze, so’s not to force the dove into flight. Twenty minutes later, it started to rain and it’s a tribute to my determination (and powers of persuasion on Neville) that the hawk got tired of being wet before we did. 🙂 Lovely captures, Janet. It’s rare to snap these birds and you did well to repeat the achievement.

  3. the photos are great, you caught the best moments with your cam :o) and the hawk was a very patient model :o)

  4. Enjoyed the pics and your narrative.
    I think that your statement:
    It must have thought I was stalking it, but this time it flew far enough away that I couldn’t see it any longer…

    Could also be interpreted as he didn’t want a predator taking it from him, he was protecting his meal, or simply not wanting to “share” it.


    • Randy, I’m sure you’re right. The stalking remark was really tongue-in-cheek (not beak), because wherever it went, I kept coming after it. If it hadn’t been eating, I doubt I would have gotten so close even once.


  5. I remember feeling so angry and disgusted when I found the shattered remains of a red cardinal near my bird feeder last winter. My sensible husband reminded me that this is the cycle of life and nature is not always pleasant. Hawks need to live too.

    • Some years ago when we still had a bird feeder, a hawk decided it was a fast food restaurant and hunkered down on a nearby wire for several days. The other wise birds stayed far away and we never saw it catch anything. But yes, your husband is right.


  6. We don’t put our Pomeranian, Augustus, out on his chain anymore because we have a hawk stalking our bird feeders. It’s a shame because the dog loves sitting out in the grass. But we don’t want the hawk to mistake the little guy for lunch. Nice pics, Janet, and your writing is always a joy to read.

  7. Great captures. A special moment. 😀

  8. What a gift…both the moment and for us, the telling. Thank you. The hawk became my ama’kua in Hawaii, the bringer of messages. I watched them as a kid on the farm and watch them still. Wonder what “message” the hawk brought you?

    • It’s always my pleasure to share what I see and feel, Janet, and it makes me happy when others enjoy or find something useful in what I tell/show. If the hawk brought me a message, it was the twin message of the beauty of the bird and the cycle of nature–life & death, prey & predator. That latter cycle should be broken with people but unfortunately, too often isn’t. Seeing the hawk once again renews my appreciation of what God has created.



  9. prior says:

    I really enjoyed the way you told this because you led us up to his fluttering away in a way where I could feel the exit! very cool.

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