Saturday, March 16, 2013

Alamogordo: View to a Kill

When it happened, I was working at my desk. On the phone, in fact. With the IRS. So I couldn't just hang up and see what was up, because I was deep into my own surreal drama.

But what happened is this. I was on the phone and I heard, then saw, a rustling of dead leaves on the ground in front of the french doors. Whatever was happening was happening in front of the wooden part of the doors, so I didn't actually witness the attack.

But I saw the aftermath.

While I was pinned to my phone call with the IRS, I watched the hawk methodically pluck the fine feathers from the dove's breast, pull out some meat, eat. Pluck, pull, eat. Pluck, pull, eat. It was like watching stuffing being pulled out of a pillow. Presently, the hawk moved the bird aways from the breast feathers. 

Above and below are the deshabille of the dove's downy breast feathers. 

Finished with one part of the bird, the hawk took its dead prey to a different location (still in front of my french doors) and commenced to denude the bird of its larger feathers, as evidenced below:

Once released from my engagement with the IRS - an hour or so - I went outside to get the pics of the feathering grounds. The hawk, annoyed, carried its meal up to my backyard tree and laid it in the crook of some branches. 

The hawk dined on the dove into the afternoon, and then left it alone. The next morning, I saw that the hawk had returned for leftovers.

Even later still, I noted the carcass was gone from the branches, but was now on the ground nearby: 

A feast for smaller forms of life.

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