Bird of Prey
This past Saturday I was chillin’ in one of my favorite spots: the corner seat of my in-laws enormously comfortable couch. Something caught my attention out in their backyard. From my vantage point I could see straight to the end of the yard through the sliding glass door, and what I saw was strange. There was something quite large on the other side of the chain link fence (100 yards away or so), and it was up to something!
Was it a turkey? It didn’t look like a turkey, but we needed to find out. My wife Brenna was there, along with her sister Ellen and Chris (Ellen’s boyfriend). I alerted them to the strange presence, and they quickly made it out into the yard. Still on crutches and not sure what I should or shouldn’t do, I eventually made it out there with them (carefully maneuvering up the grassy slope).
This is my account of what took place. The pictures and video don’t quite seem to do it justice (all taken with my iPhone), but it’s better than nothing.
The visitor was a rather large bird of prey. Now, I’m no ornithologist or birder, so I honestly couldn’t tell you whether or not it was an eagle, a hawk or a falcon. I’m certain it was not a pterodactyl. All I know is, it had a taste for blood. There was a carcass at its feet and it had a bloody tendril hanging from its beak.
Alerted to our presence and possibly wanting to defend its kill, it launched itself at us without warning. The air was filled with its piercing shriek as it dove at us, again and again. Brenna, Ellen and Chris all dove for cover as I attempted to crutch away from the scene. Realizing I wasn’t going to make it, I decided to stand and fight. I picked up one crutch and made ready to swing it like a bat…
Okay, that last paragraph didn’t happen. If it did, this story would be way more exciting. We were able to determine that it did have a squirrel in its grasp. We had never seen a bird of that size chilling on the ground like that. The fact that it didn’t fly away when we got close made us think something was up.
We didn’t know whether to get it help or give it some privacy. Was it injured? Or was it in the middle of some weird sex act with that squirrel? Yup, a squirrel…hear me out. Like I said, it wasn’t flying away from us, instead choosing to strangely hobble. When it moved, it looked like the squirrel was hanging out of its ass and not grasped in it’s claw.
Wait a second, birds don’t swallow squirrels whole and then…shit them out whole (and clean)…do they? Again, I’m no birder, but I’m sure this doesn’t happen. We made the decision to call animal control because we were pretty convinced that it was injured, but in the middle of the call the non-pterodactyl took flight and was soon out of sight.
The bird was okay and none of us got hurt so it was a happy ending for all…except for that squirrel.