Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dec. 28 - Lisa's Musings on Every Day Life

Today was all about birds of prey.

Magnificent creatures, with gazes that sure made me glad I wasn't a mouse.

Apparently, most of these birds have super vision powers that allow them to see mouse pee on the ground. It aides them in zeroing in on where these small rodents are hiding.

Then the birds perch somewhere nearby and wait. Until an unsuspecting mouse decides to take a stroll.

Swoosh and snatch.

The little varmints never knew what hit them as these predators use their powerful and sharp talons to take their lunch, or perhaps dinner, as a to go order.

(A note here to Michelle, my editor, who may be reading. She's a real friend of rabbits. So, here's a head's up: you might want to skip the next paragraph.)

I've watched it happen here in real time. Usually, it's a rabbit, though. And although I know it's a dog-eat-dog world out there in nature, the screaming that goes with a suddenly airborne rabbit isn't a pleasant sound.

In fact, I've watched a hawk at work in the oak tree next to my dining room window. He, or she, don't remember which, was toying with a chipmunk. The chipper, sensing danger, looks for the best escape route to one of the many holes that he, (or she), and friends have dug around the perimeter of my house.

Chipmunk starts down tree headed for closest hole; hawk's eyes are locked onto its prey.

Chipmunk zips to other side of tree where hawk is visible; hawk readjusts gaze and position.

The dance continues.

Chipmunk moves, hawk readjusts scopes.

Chipmunk gets restless, skitters down tree.

Hawk poises, with wide-eyed intent, ready to flap wings.

Chipmunk retreats.

It's classic fight or flight.

Finally, the chipmunk makes a dash for it. Hawk swoops in, talons open.

A near miss.

Score one for the chipmunk, and the hawk heads off to another hunting ground.

At the Ann Arbor Downtown Kiwanis Club today, Francie Krawcke brought three visitors: an American Kestrel, a Great Horned Owl and a Red-tailed Hawk for a presentation to the members. The trio were rescued and rehabilitated but their injuries rendered them unable to fend for themselves in the wild.

However, they can be viewed at the Leslie Science Center and can travel anywhere for group educational activities by contacting Krawcke at the science center.

And, all three, she says, can be found in the wild in the Ann Arbor School District area.

"Seeing them in the wild is so much more impressive," she says.

Sure is.

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