[CT Birds] Hawk and Roadkill

Randy Given givenrandy at gmail.com
Sat Oct 1 15:39:28 EDT 2011

I was heading along 82 on my way to Mitchell Pond (Salem, CT), when I
saw a hawk near the side of the road having some roadkill for lunch. I
turned the car around and watched from a distance.

Cars were flying by and nearly hitting the hawk. It was a curvy
section of road, with limited visibility, a no-passing zone and fairly
narrow, one lane in each direction. When one car slowed down to about
30mph to do some rubbernecking, the car behind it pulled out to pass,
into the lane where the bird was, obviously in a hurry. The car behind
it proceeded to do the same. Did I mention this was a no-passing zone?

The first car passing must have seen the bird and hit the brakes. The
car behind it slammed on the brakes and almost rear-ended the first
passing car. Both cars were still on the "passing" side of the road!

Okay, I had to get that bird out of there. As I walked along the road
to the bird, it wasn't budging. I thought for sure that it would
respond to a two-legged because because they often take flight when
someone walks within two hundred feet of them. It wasn't threatening
me or even staring at me, but it let it be clear that nothing was
interrupting its lunch.

>From the second video, I was pretty close, but that's when I stopped
recording so I could be careful. I got to within three feet, being
fully aware and cautious of what it could do with its beak and talons.
It still wouldn't budge. I edged a hiking boot forward, which had good
protection against a jab, and lightly kicked a small piece of meat
that was about a foot away from it. That finally made it grab its
lunch, which apparently was still heavy, and take off and lumber along
the road to the trees to the right, between the two yellow signs.

I've been near hawks when falconers were displaying them, but this was
certainly the closest I've been to one in the wild. The detail and
presence was amazing.

The videos aren't for the squeamish -- it's eating roadkill, after all.



Randy Given

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