Up Close and Personal

Red-Shouldered Hawk that greeted me yesterday morning

Though the mulberries are almost gone, I still try to start the days with a half-hour watching the birds in the mulberry and cherry trees.  Yesterday morning as I was rubbing the sleep out of my eyes on the way out to the garden I heard the characteristic cry of the Red-Shouldered Hawk.  And there on the garden fence, not 25 feet away was this awesome hawk.  The cry is actually a mating call so that I was probably just a distraction.  Nonetheless the look I got was an irritated one.

Red-Shouldered Hawk getting ready to launch

Red-Shouldered Hawk takes off, note the talons

You would think that this would make the birds of the neighborhood lie low.  But moments later I witnessed this same hawk getting dive-bombed by this Eastern Kingbird (no bigger than a Robin).

Eastern Kingbird atop cherry

Just two days earlier I had seen a family of Great Crested Flycatchers amongst the Cherry trees.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher youngster

So despite the fact that I missed the last couple of weeks of the mulberry/cherry season there is still a lot of bird watching to do — and it remains rewarding to get up and out in the morning.

Yesterday also yielded a Swallowtail hanging out in the Agastache ‘Tutti-Fruiti’.

Swallowtail on Agastache

Swallowtail fully spread out on the Agastache 'Tutti-Fruiti'