Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hawk Gawking

We’ve been a bit obsessed with a couple of new residents on fifth floor of Sid Rich –- a pair of red-tailed hawks.

The pair hangs out outside our window, checking out the Bowie Street scene and scanning the parking lots for prey.

“Earlier one was singing and the other got all puffed up which is always a good sign,” said art director Tracy Bristol. “I think they’re setting up house.”

This morning one of the hawks looked to be sunbathing and generally enjoying the recent warm-up. We grabbed our camera and took a few shots, feeling a bit like paparazzi working the bushes to get a shot of George Clooney poolside at the Beverly Wilshire.

According to Wikipedia, “the Red-tailed Hawk is carnivorous, and an opportunistic feeder. Its diet is mainly small mammals, but it also includes birds and reptiles. Prey varies with regional and seasonal availability, but usually centers on rodents, comprising up to 85% of a hawk's diet.

Additional prey (listed by descending likelihood of predation) include lagomorphs, shrews, bats, snakes, waterfowl, fish, crustaceans and insects. Prey range in size from beetles to White-tailed Jackrabbits, which are double the weight of most Red-tails.”

I guess lunchtime diners on the patio behind Dutch’s are safe – for now.

Have you spotted this hawk or others on campus? What about other campus creatures? Let us know.

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