Hawk Roadkill

New hawks must somehow learn that swooping across roadways doesn’t work like swooping across lawns:

Road-killed hawk - Red Oaks Mill - 2016-07-04

Road-killed hawk – Red Oaks Mill – 2016-07-04

We think one of “our” new Cooper’s Hawks didn’t survive its lesson.

That’s the third dead hawk we’ve seen on recent rides; it’s been a rough few weeks for new hawks. Mary also spotted a smashed owl along one of her routes.

Yeah, they’re just birds, but …

Cropped and tweaked from a Sony HDR-AS30V helmet camera image.


  1. #1 by madbodger on 2016-08-07 - 12:06

    Roadways are very appealing, that wide expanse with a lack of cover makes it easy to see and pick off prey that attempt the crossing. There’s a tall dead tree with a commanding view of highway a little east of here, and I often see a hawk perched at the top of it. I’m guessing that hawk has learned the ways of the road and is taking full advantage.

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-08-07 - 13:30

      We often see vultures circling on the updrafts over roads and, much more rarely, chowing down on something that got distracted at the wrong moment. Given their wingspan and awkward liftoff, they’re much better suited for meadows…

  2. #3 by Hexley Ball on 2016-08-07 - 13:11

    Reminds me of a (possibly apocryphal) explanation of why we see a lot of smashed cats on the highways around here in the fall: supposedly the berries on the pyracantha bushes along the roadside have fermented, birds have eaten them and gotten woozy only to be picked off in large numbers by cats who then get three sheets to the wind and wander onto the roadway to their doom.

    Keep those Cooper’s Hawks away from the blueberries, maybe?

    • #4 by Ed on 2016-08-07 - 13:34

      Sounds like a Just So story to me! [grin]

      There’s been a definite shortage of chipmunks this year that considerably improved the cherry tomato harvest. The (many) new squirrels apparently don’t go for veggies and Mary’s not providing them any clues.

    • #5 by Red County Pete on 2016-08-08 - 12:11

      We don’t have many blueberries, but we get an increase in incidents (birds flying into windows out of fledgling season, the odd bird passed out on the ground, but alive and well, if a bit wobbly in flight) after the juniper trees finish growing their berries. I had one on the deck in the front porch, and it flew away after I picked it up. Not enough cats around to test the second part of the story.

      Magpies are the usual visitors to the Roadkill Cafe, and they tend to be pretty wary of cars. Their wings make them fast on the takeoff.

      We;re getting a bumper crop of summer squashes this year. I got rid of the ground squirrels that went after the young plants; there’s still one that ate the primary leaves of some late seedlings, but left the later, better defended leaves alone.