Uninvited Guests

     It has been very quite on the Broward. Fewer and fewer birds are around in the mornings so I have been going out more in the afternoons and evenings.  This one particular afternoon was interesting. I have been trying to get some better photographs of our local Red Shouldered and other hawks in the area. If I were a bird I think I would wish they would move elsewhere. Can’t blame them there. The hawks tend to drop in unexpected and uninvited.  

     I notice the Red Shouldered Hawk flying back and forth across the river a few times and try to catch a photo on one of its fly-byes.  I got one of the hawks with a snake in its talons last week. My philosophy on snakes left no sympathy for it. These birds of prey look for anything that moves and do indeed take a keen interest in the local small birds that congregate around the bird feeders. The hawk announces its presence and I see it fly by and land in my cousin’s tree. Apparently the night herons roosting there are not too pleased with this unexpected and unwanted“ house guest”. The Black Crowned Night Herons let out a loud squawk and drop quickly down into the low tide mud below the tree keeping a watchful eye on the visitor. About that time George, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron, comes flying out of the tree with his eyes as big as saucers. He is flying straight at me. As I track him thru the lens all I remember seeing is those huge red eyes looking right at me. It appears like George is going to land right in my lap literally but at the last second he pulls up and just plops down in the mud right in front of me. The look on George's face was enough to make me laugh but I could tell the poor bird was scared. He just stood there looking up right in front of me hoping it seems that I would protect him from the big bad hawk. I reassure George that he is OK and he can sit there as long as he feels necessary. In a few minutes he calms down and begins to explore the muddy stream for a snack but remains close by. The hawk flies off and all returns to normal. For now that is. Just another day on the Broward. One that George would like to forget I am sure.  

     We have all had them, uninvited guests that just drop in. Most of the time it is an old friend or family and we just are so happy to see them. But then there are times when some folks drop by that we scratch our heads still today and say to ourselves why on earth did they come by? What do they want from me? You just never know what life’s unannounced encounters will lead to. I hope everyone who knocks on your door is a friend. If not, you know just smile, give em a cup of coffee perhaps and try to show them they are welcomed too (even if they aren’t). Poor ole George, he is probably still having “day-mares” though. Be blessed. Harry

Red Shouldered Hawk with snake sandwich!

Red Shouldered Hawk eyes the bird feeders.

Uninvited guest lands in the Night Heron's roost.

Knock Knock. Anybody home?

The Black Crowned Herons fly into the mud below and look up to see who's knockin!

George the Yellow Crowned Night Heron comes flying out of the tree!

All I see in the viewfinder is George's bug eyed red eyeballs coming right at me!

George lands at my feet visibly upset!

George's eyes are still wide and alarmed.

After a few minutes George calms down, the hawk leaves and life returns to normal. But George still has "Day-mares". (he sleeps in the day remember)

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