The large Hawk flew in a straight line about thirty feet in front of us, flying no more than five feet off the ground. The bird glided over a split-rail fence, then over a slight hill, and was quickly out of our sight, heading for a clearing in the woods. “Wow, that was neat,” Marilyn said. I had to agree. With a wing span of over fifty inches, a Red-tail hawk is an impressive sight to see, and this one was quite large.

We’ve seen many interesting sights over the years on our frequent hikes through the woods and fields. Deer are a common sight, as are frogs and turtles at the ponds. Less often we see snakes, lizards, and many other inhabitants of the woods. The Pileated Woodpecker is one of our favorite sights in the woods and just a few weeks ago we observed a beautiful pair for over twenty minutes.

We hiked to a small pond where dozens of Lotus plants fill the water, I love to see the frogs sitting on the Lotus leaves floating on the surface of the pond. As we walked around the pond we heard the splash of frogs jumping into the water. Dragonflies darted back and forth in front of us. Fallen leaves, wildflower petals, a few small logs, and the ever present floating Duckweed float near the pond’s edge. We studied the pond for a while then headed toward a clearing in the woods. In the middle of that clearing is a refurbished log cabin.

“Look, on top of the log cabin, what is that?” Marilyn said. I couldn’t tell what it was, we were still a couple of hundred feet away from the cabin. As we got closer to the cabin we could tell what it was, it was the large Red-tail hawk that we had seen fly in this direction a little while earlier. The hawk took notice of us from his perch on top of the cabin, but did not seem bothered by our presence. We were watching, and photographing, the bird of prey when it suddenly flew to the ground and grabbed something in it’s talons. What the hawk had captured was a frog. I didn’t know that hawks ate frogs, and was surprised to see a bird of such size catch a little frog to eat.

The Red-tail flew back to the cabin roof and proceeded to dispatch and consume the frog. As the hawk was eating, several Blue Jays were screeching at, and diving toward, the large bird. One by one the Jays would dive toward the hawk, then pull away at the last second. Their harsh screeches filled the air. The hawk was obviously annoyed by the Jays harassment, and soon flew from the roof and into the woods. The hawk was out of sight. The Blue Jays gathered on the cabin chimney, bobbing up and down and calling loudly, quite proud of themselves that they had chased the hawk away.

It all seemed so exciting to Marilyn and I, but I guess it was just one more day in the life of a hungry hawk, some rowdy Blue Jays, and the last day in the life of one unfortunate little frog.    To see photos and video of this hawk CLICK HERE