Saturday, January 2, 2016

Red in tooth and claw

Christmas and the New Year has passed and although I feel slightly guilty for not having posted anything for ten days, I'm certainly not losing any sleep! Winter in Palm Springs is a curious but lovely season - still sunny and relatively warm but nights are chilly and the other day a touch of frost browned off the tips of the bougainvilleas.

Horticulturally its quiet - my excuse for not writing! My yard looks OK but not very colorful. We enjoy the humming birds' entertaining aerial acrobatics and like to see the roadrunners strutting about. However we are less happy with the hoards of pigeons that leave their droppings on our patio. We actually bought a plastic hawk as a deterrent but it didn't work!

The other day I commented that it was a pity that the roadrunners (carnivorous) didn't eat pigeons too. To my astonishment within a few minutes I observed a large bird at the bottom of the yard that had caught a pigeon. It wasn't a roadrunner but a red tailed hawk that proceeded to kill, pluck and eat the pigeon. Fortunately he was a tidy bird and finally flew off with the carcass, leaving us just a mulch of fluffy white feathers. The first picture is a library image and the other two are of the rather macabre event in our garden.

We decided to leave the feathers as a warning to the rest of the pigeons to stay clear of our yard and it seems the word has gone around as so far it seems to have worked.

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