Amazing Squirrel/Hawk Incident (Happy ending!)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Amazing Squirrel/Hawk Incident (Happy ending!)

    I live in a typical Chicago suburban house with the exception that our back yard buts up to a park with a lake and some natural prairie grass. This gives us and abundance of rabbits and Squirrels that are times quite entertaining. During the last couple of weeks we have noticed a hawk hanging around. I saw it three times last week perched in trees in our yard. Pretty cool stuff for a suburban neighborhood!

    Well, this morning I got up and took a peak out the window to see what was going on in the back yard. I saw a squirrel up on the railing of our deck. I thought I would watch for a couple of minutes as he would stretch out, scratch himself, shake his tail, etc. Typical squirrel stuff. Suddenly the whole tone of the situation took a much unexpected change. From out of my view a hawk swooped in and landed on the railing about 5-6 feet from the squirrel with the squirrel backed up near the house. My first thought was OMG this squirrel is toast!

    So there I was looking out the window of my house. The squirrel frozen on all fours facing the hawk. The hawk right on the corner of the railing staring straight at the squirrel. I could almost hear Marlin Perkins quietly narrating what was happening. I quietly called my wife over to check it out too. She wanted to go save the squirrel, but I convinced her to let nature play out, right out side of our window. The squirrel frozen, ready to dart. The hawk staring at the squirrel, stretched its wings, gave a couple of flaps, but stayed where it was. The tension was absolutely incredible! This situation lasted for what I would guess was well over a minute.

    Then the action started in a way that I would never have expected. The squirrel still on all fours started shaking its tail up in the air and suddenly bolted. Not to the floor of the deck. Not to the ground where it could duck under the deck. He bolted straight down the railing and hit the hawk right in its body knocking the hawk right off the railing! I was in shock! I could not believe what I had just witnessed. The hawk with just a couple of flaps of its wings was right back to the squirrel. There was a quick exchange of the hawk trying to grasp with its talons, the squirrel evading with incredible quickness and jumping to the ground and scurrying to the trunk of the tree near the deck. The hawk took flight toward the squirrel, but was no match as the squirrel evaded by ducking to the other side of the tree.

    Now with the squirrel about two feet up on the trunk of the tree, the hawk about five feet away on the ground, yet another player entered the arena. A second squirrel, a young one that we have seen growing up from a very small squirrel this spring, poked out from behind the trunk of another tree about 20 feet away. The young squirrel came lower in the tree shaking its tail and chattering up a storm. It jumped to the ground and taunted the hawk, shaking its tail and chattering. The hawk turned and flew toward the young squirrel, the squirrel darting to the tree and playing the duck to the other side game. The squirrels took turns at this until the hawk got frustrated and flew back to the deck railing.

    I would have thought that the drama had played it's self out at this point, but I was wrong. With the hawk on the deck railing the big squirrel jumped onto the deck and ran along the board at knee height so that he was right under the hawk. He then lunged at the hawk and actually pulled a feather out of the hawk's tail. After just a bit more angry squirrel chatter the hawk had enough and flew off leaving the two squirrels to enjoy our back yard. WOW! I can just hear good ole Carl Perkins saying "Wild Kingdom will be right back after this word from our sponsor, Mutual of Omaha...".

    Just to make this whole thing even better, today happens to be our 19th wedding anniversary. Simply the best anniversary gift I ever got!

  2. #2
    Perpetually single track
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    Not so happy! Hawks gotta eat too.....hmm roasted squirrel. Little garlic and butter with a touch of paparika...can't beat it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ibmkidIII
    Not so happy! Hawks gotta eat too.....hmm roasted squirrel. Little garlic and butter with a touch of paparika...can't beat it.
    I think the Hawks doing OK. I haven't seen as many rabbits lately. It was great watching it play out though!

  4. #4
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    I have a theory...

    In the far flung future where man has long since abdicated his position atop the animal hierarchy, squirrelmen will battle raccoonmen for ultimate superiority on plant Earth.

    I predict thousands of years of conflict as the primarily diurnal squirrelmen seek to break the lock the raccoonmen have upon the night.

    The preceding millennia will have seen the defeat of the ubiquitous Catpeople by the protoraccoonmen.

    Trust me, the future looks and sounds an awful lot like the dumpster behind my house at 3a.m..

  5. #5

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    Shame the hawk didn't get it. Having squirrels in your backyard is not necessarily a good thing if you want to encourage wildlife.

  6. #6
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    Squirrels are vegetarian rats with hairy tails. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  7. #7
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    What, no pictures?

    Great write up, nature is excellent isnt it?

    TJ

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007
    What, no pictures?

    Great write up, nature is excellent isnt it?

    TJ
    I thought it would be over too fast so I didn't even try. It's a shame too. The camera was only about 10 feet away.

  9. #9

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    Squirrels can be tricky...

    My cat had one treed one time, in a tree next to our street. The squirrel waited until a car came by, then leaped in to the street and crossed right in front of the oncoming car. The cat of course gave chase and would have been squished if we hadn't screamed at her so that she --and the driver--slammed on the brakes.

  10. #10
    Lone Wolf
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    Squirrels are tough

    I got bit by a squirrel a few years ago, it fell down my parents chimney and got into their basement. I caught it barehanded but I had to dive for it and caught it right behind the back legs. the little sucker reached down and clamped on my index finger..kinda sounded like when you bite a carrot.. ouch. Morale of the story, Squirrels are mean little buggers.

  11. #11

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    Good job!

    great writeup...I can just imagine them making fun of the hawk...funny thing is I see this big squirrel wearing a leather jacket & indian jones like hat & the small one wearing a hawaiian shirt watched to much disney amimation I guess

  12. #12
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    owl vs. rabbit

    Wow that is an amazing story. I never would have thought the squirrels would actually charge the hawk!

    This story isnt near as interesting...but I was out night riding in the Phx. Mtn. Preserve last fall. I heard a noise like a baby crying. I stopped and turned around and in the light of my HID I saw a LARGE owl flapping up in front of me and it dropped something. I see this owl out there a couple times a week. It doesnt seem scared of me at all (I guess because it has no natural predators?), and it will sit on a tree while I pass within 1-2 ft. of it sometimes. Anyway, I couldnt help myself and doubled back. The owl had dropped a baby rabbit. I know I should have let nature take its course, but the little guy wasnt mortally wounded. It only had a scalp wound from the talons. I picked it up and carried it to some houses where I saw a guy in his driveway. I asked him to take the rabbit for the night, and he did (put it in his yard), but didnt seem too pleased. Anyway, I doubt the little guy made it, as I think it was going into shock. If it ever happens again, I will just leave the rabbit for the owls/coyotes.

    j

  13. #13
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    The squirrels are taking over.............

    Great story!

    I love hawks, and was hoping that that one would get a meal. But squirrels are resourceful and smart little buggers.

    I rode after work yesterday afternoon, and I must have scared up at least 3 dozen! Here in New Mexico we have these squirrels with ears like rabbits, almost 2 inches tall. I'm not kidding, they look freaky. Anyway, I started thinking that they were going to gang up on me, pull me off the bike, and eat me for dinner. Then I remembered I have some pepper spray on my Camelback so I knew I was safe.

  14. #14

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    Smart squirrel he new if he ran he was a goner. It happens all the time in my backyard. The hawk will chase the squirrel around the trunk of the tree several times. Then the hawk will stop and wait. When the squirrel hits the ground and try's to make a run for the next tree. The hawk swoops down from behind the squirrel and gets a easy meal.


  15. #15
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    that must have been incredible to see. especially that close up. attack of the killer squirrels! i never would have thought they'd be so aggressive like that.

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