The Circle Of Life

If you know me, or have been a reader for awhile, you'll know I'm an animal lover. A keeper of my very own Zoo of felines, canine, aquatic and reptilian species. I also encounter quite a few wild creatures I've been blessed to share my little piece of the world with: bunnies, geese, large birds, heck even a huge snapping turtle (this last one was posted on my old, old blog in 2006).

Previous run-ins exploits with Mother Nature can be found HERE or under the Category "Wildlife" under Diversions on the sidebar.

You should know I am also a terrible hypocrite. Although I could never be a vegetarian, my heart breaks when "Nature takes it's course". Heck, I hated having to put a beautiful dragonfly out of it's misery when I found it half-squashed, but still alive on the concrete the other day.

So tonight's experience is a mixture of joy and sadness.

As we relaxed in my favorite chair after dinner, both Sheba and I were startled by the cacophony of birds outside my living room window. (Of course I had a cat in my lap; there always is one or more within touching distance - as a matter of fact Dakotah is supervising this very blog entry right now). Sheba began her weird cat-chirping at them while I got up to take a closer look at the rustling pine boughs. Sure enough, two Robins were trying to attack something else in the branches of our Blue Cedar....

... and then I realized what it was.

A Falcon!

And then I realized what it was DOING.

Tear. Claw. Chomp. Gulp!

Yep. Dinnertime for the Falcon was at the table of the Robin's nest I do believe.

My heart broke for the youngster that had become a meal; but then I marveled at the majestic Falcon. Running to dig my camera out of my purse (I performed, perfectly, I might add, the old "Frantically-Turn-It-UpsideDown-And-Dump-The-Contents-Onto-The-Floor" maneuver you only see in the movies) and got back in time to take a few photos through our not-too-clean (okay, erm "filthy") window. Precariously perched atop the arm of my rocker recliner, balancing and propping myself ON the previously-stated filthy window, I zoomed in and snapped this:


Once it's meal was done, the Falcon swept out of the tree and was chased, all too late though, by the two adult Robins. I jumped off my own tenuous position and went to the laptop, Googling Peregrine and discovered the Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project here in Winnipeg.

I wrote to them and they confirmed this is in fact a Merlin Falcon - a cousin of the Peregrine which was once an endangered species in North America caused by pesticide use which was halted in the 1970s, it's now on the road to recovery thanks to organizations like the PFRP. To read more about the Project, please visit the their website too:

Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project


Even though I have a hard time accepting the "Circle Of Life", I will admit it WAS incredible to witness it in my own front yard.


12 People would rather be commenting:

Heather said...

I have the same hypocritical condition. I eat meat, but I prefer not to think of where it comes from beyond "the grocery store." It hurts my heart to see any animal in pain or dead...The scene in your yard would have had me in tears. The falcon IS beautiful, though, and as my husband always reminds me, "They have to eat too!" :( Anyway, thanks for the story and the awesome picture!

Babs-beetle said...

Oh I am so much like you. I think most animal lovers have the same mixed feelings about how the animal world works. I love nature programmes, but when I see an animal stalking it's prey I have to switch over.

I have just been watching a live webcam of an eagle nest, from eggs to fledglings. It was fantastic to watch.

The falcon is a beautiful bird :)

kittenface said...

Awesome picture of the Falcons.
I have been watching for yrs now on the net also watch the manitoba falcons for a couple yrs, like you I have my time I have to turn it off when prey is brought in.
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous falcon.

Jeff said...

I suppose the Robin community contributed to the project.

Ashley said...

Cute Falcon! Sad for the little robin baby though :o(

JoJo said...

They are beautiful birds, but seeing it making a meal out of a poor little bird would have made me cry. I've seen a lot of falcons on the west coast; they sit on the light poles above the highways, and nest under the bridges. One landed in a tree outside our apartment in San Francisco and I was able to get 2 photos before he flew off.

Daisy said...

Poor bebbeh robin! Nature is very hard sometimes. My Mommeh is a vegetarian, but she feeds Harley and I a diet of raw meats!

Jaffer said...

Awesome post - Love the title too !

Burp !

(Commenting from a Hero Certified Burger Restaurant)

Janet said...

Awww, I feel badly for the Robin family, but I agree, it's an honor to be able to witness nature up close and personally like that. WOW!

Painting Tips and Tricks said...

I guess that's the way of life.. The falcon and the robin are both great!

SWUBIRD said...

Maureen:

How fortunate you were to have been visited by that falcon. What a nice catch with you camera.

My Queen shares you enthusiasm for bird watching. Every year a flock of tinny birds build their nests in our neighbor's eves, and my Queen has a ringside seat from our upstair's bathroom window. She tracks their progress all the way from hatching their eggs through kicking their young from the nests. The little birds flutter awkwardly at first, but then they take to the air like old pros. It's a glorious thing to witness.

But there is bad news. Every once in a while a flock of pesky black crows come along and raise Cain with the nests. They are positively brutal in their purpose. The little mother birds chirp with all their might, but they're no match for the large crows. It's sad, but that's life.

I only wish my Queen was as good with a camera as you are. What a wonderful album of memories you must have.

Take care and Happy trails.

Jay said...

Oh, it's tough, isn't it? So easy to interfere and chase the 'aggressor' away .. but they must eat too! And a Merlin! You were fortunate to see one, and especially to get a quick photo!!

My own philosophy is that life is a balance. We all depend, in some way, on the other creatures in the world. Sometimes that relationship isn't clear until a species is threatened and then we see that numbers of something quite unexpected are declining. We interfere, not only at our peril, but at the peril of countless other animals.

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Yeah, I should be doing laundry, yardwork, cleaning the house or planning meals. But frankly, I'D RATHER BE BLOGGING... about things like this.

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