Friday, May 16, 2008
Hawk saving face high above Owen Conservation Park in Madison
Sometimes hawks are a lot like cats. They have their predator's image to maintain and will affect a sublime nonchalance when they miss a kill. Predators fail more often than not, and saving face is an essential skill: "Who, me? I was just passing by." Just seconds before I took this photo, the hawk had set its sights on a crow in flight, closing rapidly with lethal intent, but the crow -- no dummy itself -- swerved away at the last instant and made for a nearby thick tangle of branches that did not seem to appeal to the hawk. The hawk acted as if it had not even seen the crow. It started wheeling in the air, riding the thermals above the hilly park, as if it had nothing better to do than trace lazy, imperious spirals across the sky all day long.