Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Howdy, Birders,
You know sometimes the birds are wherever you find them! Yesterday, I was driving through downtown Hollister, when I saw this SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatius) sitting on a street lamp along a side street. Hung a fast right turn around the block, parked and jumped out with my camera.
Crossed the street to get the sun behind me. Meanwhile, cars were zipping by, ump-pah or salsa music blaring in the streets. It seemed to me that the sharpie was unfazed by all of this, although it was paying attention.
However, I've been noticing how much raptors really dislike having a human being looking directly at them. Eye to eye contact is not something they seem to care for.
It wasn't until I got home and downloaded my images that I discovered that this little sweetie was not a happy camper! As one of my friends pointed out, "It looks like there's some foot stomping going on there!"
Arthur C. Bent's "Life Histories of North American Birds of Prey" describes this bird as thus: "This bold and dashing little hawk, the terror of all small birds and the audacious murderer of young chickens, is widely distributed in North America. It has been well called a bushwacker from its habit of beating stealthily about the shrubbery to the fatal surprise of many a little songster."
Well, that's a fairly fierce look in the eyeball of this little gem! The location is shown in the image, below, quite near the NAPA auto parts store at East and Fourth Streets in Hollister. It seems that birds are often quite habitual, especially raptors. So, if you find yourself in Hollister, drive by or stop at the NAPA store.
This was to be just the beginning of an outrageous day for birds of prey. Stay tuned.
Happy Trails,
Debi Shearwater
San Benito Birding

All images copyright, Debi Shearwater.
Please ask permission to use.

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