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Fish Tales

 Here is the story of our Sharp Shinned Hawk  

We have been losing Koi to one or more predators lately, but have never seen any evidence of the crime other than missing fish...until now.  Being extra watchful lately, I noticed a crow paying a lot of attention to the pond area this morning.  When I mentioned it to Jan she noted that there was a squirrel in the yard and near the pond.

As I look down to see the squirrel there was a flash of wings and something pounced on the squirrel.  It was either a Broad-winged Hawk or a Harrier by my calculations though I am not an expert on these things.

What happened next is what really surprised me and got me to thinking.  The bird took the squirrel and hopped over to the pond and jumped in on top of some lily pads spreading it's wings in the process.  With it's body down in the water, it stayed there for a good five minutes and drowned the squirrel.

When it was satisfied that the rodent was dead, it flopped over to the edge of the pond and climbed and flopped it's way out with the dead squirrel still in one talon.  After drying off for a few minutes, it flew away into the woods at just a foot or two off the ground.

Quite a sight and hard to believe, but here are two pics to look at.  The second one is just as it got out of our pond.  So now I have one more option as to the culprit fish thief.

Submitted 8/27/10 Jim and Jan - Tennessee  

P.S.  It came back a week later and it took some effort to get it to leave.  We got within 10 feet of the bird before it would move at all.  We now have ugly netting over the pond until there is more vegetation to cover the surface.