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Hey, remember the hawks?

Remember the hawks at Harvard? We had all kinds of Drama earlier in the spring, and then the upshot of that was pretty unclear. But my guess has been that the resident pair didn't raise any young this year, because of the disruptions to the mating season.

I will sometimes see one or the other of the adults perched on a weathervane. But a couple of weeks ago I found BOTH of them perched on a steeple around the corner from my office, so I went out to get some pics.




I feel like the size difference is noticeable here, which would suggest that the one on the left is the male (smaller). Unfortunately, he is the one whose legs you can see most clearly -- I never got a good look at the female's legs. Which is annoying, because the female who earlier in the year was hit by the car, and rehabbed, and released, had a band put on her. So if I'd been able to see this hawk's ankles, I could have told whether this was the old female, or the interloper who the male seemed to have hooked up with while she was away -- we've been wondering who "won" ever since the old female was released and was spotted fighting with the new one. Unfortunately, with these photos, the end of that story remains a mystery.

Meanwhile, in Nature News, we have also acquired bunnies.


Actually, we had bunnies last year. (Technically speaking, eastern cottontails.) One was spotted several times on the lawn in front of Houghton Library -- where, this year, there is still a bunny in residence.



I'm kind of amazed that the bunny hasn't been eaten yet, but perhaps the hawks are looking elsewhere...

At any rate, the big development this summer, bunny-wise, was the appearance of one grazing on the lawn in the courtyard outside my building, which is across the street from the library pictured above.


(Cell-phone pic, not my building but one nearby.) This is not a case, however, of the bunny from across the street coming over to graze OUR lawns. This is an additional bunny, because on one evening I came out of work, saw this one, crossed the street, and passed the other one out grazing too. This one likes to hunker under the bushes right outside my office, too. Clearly this whole courtyard is its territory.

According to the campus nature-watch newsletter, there may also be a FOX DEN (!!!!!) around here. So that's going to be my next goal, to see if I can locate that. I am not exaggerating when I saw that it has only been a goal of about 20 years' standing, to actually identify some local urban foxes and SEE them. What fun! (Except apparently for the bunnies and the squirrels, whose skulls are being found near the den, which is partly how its location has been identified. Hey, the Circle of Life.)


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
These are frelling astoundingly awesome shots! I love that first one of the bunny too. See you tomorrow. AND did you say fox den!!!!!!!!! Cool!
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
YES I DID SAY FOX DEN! Oh, I hope I can find it...
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
i hope you can too! :)
Sep. 3rd, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
It could be bunnies!!
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
I kept meaning to ask you about this reference...
Sep. 5th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
Buffy reference. Anya on Buffy had an irrational distaste for bunnies, so much so that in the musical episode (don't ask), when everyone was suddenly struck with the (un-turn-off-able) gift of song, Anya tried to blame it on bunnies.

Thus, whenever something mysterious occurs, "It could be bunnies!!" You never know what those nefarious beady-eyed rodents might do.
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ah, right! Amazing the things you can kind of forget about a show (that we did watch religiously -- that was the start of our "everybody get together at somebody's house to watch TV" days/nights), although if you say "Anya" to me, the image that always leaps to my mind is of her in the bunny suit.
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
I wonder if that is the old female hawk. The way she's sitting may mean an old injury? I don't know, I know nothing about raptors. She is very fluffed up, though. What great photos. I envy your camera.

Bunnies! The more bunnies the better the foxes and hawks will be fed. >_>
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
I don't know... I would often seem them fluffed up, and it may just be the strong breeze that day that was causing her to look fluffy. And I think her posture was due to having chosen to perch on that curved arm of the cross, leading to one of her feet being lower than the other. I REALLY wish I could have seen her ankles!

What surprises me is that the bunnies seem to have moved in and started taking over DESPITE the increasing prevalence of resident hawks and, apparently, foxes. I've always figured that the increase in hawks meant they were finding prey (squirrels and rats and songbirds and pigeons), but am surprised to see the increase of a prey population that wasn't as prevalent before.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )